"Best Picture 1998, dammit. Anything else that wins is a fake."
Just hearing Warren Beatty saying "nappy dugout" made Bulworth worth watching. But there's much more going for this ambitious political farce.Beatty wrote, directed and starred in this film. He's Jay Bullington Bulworth, an L.A. "New Democrat" filled with empty promises and bland rhetoric. And he knows it. Looping through his own campaign ads, Bulworth loses sleep and then his mind, ultimately setting into motion a plan for his own suicide. He enlists a local Mob boss to take care of a "research project" - his own assassination.
In his terminal state, he becomes fearless and raucous in his campaign speech, telling an African-American gathering to "put down your malt liquor and chicken wings and get behind someone other than a running back who stabs his wife". This enrages the majority but actually wins him some admirers, especially a mysterious lady named Nina (Halle Berry). Nina and her pals take Bulworth and his entourage to a local rap club, where Bulworth finds new life in the rap vibe. Suddenly he's rapping his campaign speeches and enjoying it. His assistant (Oliver Platt) is all too frustrated and annoyed by Bulworth's sudden strategy about-faces, but publicly takes credit for the senator's new ways in a manner slicker than ol' Willie himself.
Bulworth's on top of the world now, and no longer wants the "research project" to go on. Unfortunately, his only connection to the project has gone comatose, and now he has to dodge the assassins while at the same time put in all the needed appearances to the media.
This film, for all its low blows to the corporate-controlled media and politics-as-usual, would probably never be made if it weren't for Warren Beatty's contract stipulation giving him a project with complete creative control. As a result, 20th Century Fox isn't too thrilled, as a President would be if his Vice-President vomited on the Pope. However, Fox has nothing to be ashamed about. Bulworth is funny, nasty, bold, ruthless, and all-out wacky at some points (like the aforementioned "nappy dugout" quote).It's all that and a bowl of grits. Word to the mutha.