Tony's Take


This Shi* is Crazy

Boots Riley’s wildly-ambitious and entertaining “Sorry to Bother You” brings us to an alternate present-day Oakland as a young, black man named Cassius ‘Cash’ Green (Lakeith Stanfield) tries to make a living for him and his girlfriend Detroit (Tessa Thompson) anyway he can.  Money is at a premium (more so than in today’s World) and jobs are very hard to come by.  His dire need to move out of his uncle’s (Terry Crews) garage confronts him with a telemarketing company that promises him the great reward of becoming a “powercaller” should he excel at his current job, alongside his friend Salvador (Jermaine Fowler).  Becoming a “powercaller” would not only drastically change his life, but the lives of those around him as well.  After a rocky start of hang-ups (visualized with hilariously-absurd “wall breaks”, an older coworker named Langston (Danny Glover) instructs Cash to use his “white” voice.  It works perfectly, but it comes at a time where a labor union is being organized at the company, involving some friends, and he must choose: his path to greatness or his loyalty.

As his overwhelming success continues he gets his call-up to the “powercaller” floor, where his income increases and his moral sense of direction decreases.  One of Royal View’s primary clients is the controversial WorryFree labor company, run by CEO Steve Lift (Armie Hammer).  WorryFree allows people to sign a lifetime work contract, that carries a salary and provides them with food and living quarters; a shocking-but-precise metaphor for modern day slavery.  As Cash continues his successful climb, his boss, Mr. ____ (Omari Hardwick), informs him of a special invitation he’s received to go meet Steve Lift at one of his private parties.  At the party, Cash is entertained with not only a job offer to work exclusively for WorryFree, but he also accidentally discovers their haunting secret.  A secret so obscure and original, you will never see it coming.

“Sorry to Bother You” is confrontational and divisive.  There are a number of messages brought-out throughout the film, ranging from political to socio-economic diversity and filled with social and political satire.  You can feel Riley’s anger from start-to-finish, but it never feels vindictive or unnecessary; however, some of them fail to land as squarely as he had hoped.  His cast is superb, led-by “Get Out” standout Stanfield, and strongly-supported by Thompson, Yeun, Glover, and Hammer (who’s arguably having the most fun of his career in one of the most insane and shocking roles he’s ever played).  The film also has a strong voiceover cast as well, featuring David Cross, Patton Oswalt, and Lily James.  However, it’s the mind-bending insanity that is the film’s true triumph.  Whether it’s the storytelling-style featuring the reality-breaking shots or the film’s idealistic ideas of hierarchy; there are so many moments that will having you laughing over-and-over again.  As for the film’s incredibly-maniacal twist, just make sure you don’t have it spoiled by someone!  “Sorry to Bother You” is easily one of the most wild, engaging, and hilarious films of 2018.  Nothing about this film is ordinary and that is why it will be divisive among moviegoers.  For some, it will resonate like their life story, for others, a few good laughs and characters.  With a run time of 105 minutes, it has just enough time to get its point across (although not all of them land).

“Sorry to Bother You” is the type of cinema that is so rare to find these days.  Wild ideas, thunderous laughs, and a smart script combine to give you a high octane comedy that is full of ambition and laughs.  It is a film that should be praised for not only its no-holds-barred originality, but for having the guts to actually pull it off!


SORRY TO BOTHER YOU is rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use, in theaters JULY 13TH!




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