There’s so much going on in Sorry to Bother You it’s hard to describe. There are also parts of it, places it goes, that are totally unpredictable that I don’t want to spoil. It’s fucking incredible.
Let’s go over some basic plot first.
Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) lives is completely broke and lives in his uncle Sergio’s (Terry Crews) garage, where he’s 4 months behind on his rent. His friend Salvador (Jermaine Fowler) tells him to get a job at a telemarketing company, which he does despite lying about his experience because it’s a job that pays on commission and they’ll hire anyone. At first he struggles to make any sales, until a more experienced co-worker, Langston (Danny Glover), tell him to use his “white voice.” Cassius’s inner “white voice” turns out to be David Cross and utilizing it turns Cassius into a sale prodigy and he is quickly on the road to being promoted into being a “Power Caller.”
Lateith Stanfield being overdubbed with David Cross so that he can be a more appealing salesman is a pretty good conceit, but that’s just the way the movie starts. There’s way more going on here and the thing that really makes me love this movie is that it’s never content with just one good idea, it’s constantly pushing forward into more complex and stranger places.
Also it executes on everything perfectly which incredibly impressive considering how much is here.
The world of Sorry to Bother You is kind of like what if the world of RoboCop weren’t just there for one off jokes, what if you dug in and expanded it with a coherent vision. This is a movie about a dystopian future, but it’s so close to the actual present that you can almost miss that fact at first. Eventually the movie goes places, but it starts pretty grounded.
The only real hint you get at how ambitious the movie could be is how stylish it is. The way Cassius’s desk crashes into the rooms of the people he calls. Cassius’s girlfriend’s (Tessa Thompson) amazing earrings. The voice gimmick. And just the way everything is shot is fantastic.
This is an unbelievable first movie for writer/director Boots Riley. I am stoked to watch more films from him.
Most movies struggle to do one thing well. Sorry to Bother You does a shitton of different things exceptionally well. There’s so much I could go on about, but honestly this isn’t the place. This is the best movie I’ve seen this year, a dark comedy masterpiece. Cannot recommend it highly enough.
Thank You For Your Time.