Don Reviews "Sorry To Bother You"
There are basically three classes of people in our society: the rich and elite, the working middle class, and the poor. With the talk that the middle class is starting to disappear and being absorbed by one of the other two (depending on where you are), Boots Riley’s “Sorry To Bother You” looks at the effects of the disappearance of the middle class.
Starring Lakeith Stanfield (Selma, Get Out), Tessa Thompson (Creed, Dear White People), Jermaine Fowler (The 5th Quarter, Crashing), Terry Crews, (Idiocracy, The Expendables), Kate Berlant (555, Duck Butter), Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, Almost Christmas), and Armie Hammer (12 years a Slave, The Social Network), the film takes place in an alternate reality in Oakland, California. Cassius (Stanfield) lives in the garage of his uncle with his girlfriend, Detroit (Thompson), and is having trouble getting by, so he takes a job as a telemarketer. With some coaching by a veteran named Langston (Glover) to start talking in a “white voice”, he is able to become one of the best sellers in the company and is promoted to the “upper floor”. In his new position, he sells for an evil corporation called Well Made, where employees live and work at the plant and get free “room and board” for service, which some people compare to a modern day slavery. From that point, Cassius starts to realize the true intention of the company and starts to question if he sold out his morals for the new position and wealth.
“Sorry To Bother You” has an artsy and bleak look, showing very low income and poverty stricken areas to show how all the working class lives. Stanfield does fine in the lead with good support from Glover and Hammer, but they do the job you can expect from them. There were no performances that blew me away, but the acting was “just there”. If there was one thing that bugged me, it was when they did the “white voice”; it got annoying after a while. It was funny at first, but it just got too annoying after the joke wore out with a style you may remember from the old martial arts films that had that horrible voice overs.
I know I am not the target audience, but I saw where it was going. It does have some comedy which was OK for the first half with some political messages of class warfare where there is only the rich and the poor and a media bias, also with hints of racial overtones. But the second half of the film takes a total and complete change that just got totally weird. The best way to put it (being spoiler free) is that Well Made starts to do a mix of “X-Men” and “Mr. Ed”. It got so weird that I was just bewildered wondering what the director trying to do. This film has some very adult themes, language, sexual situations, nudity and violence, so be warned. Due to the last half of the film, I can not recommend it at all and I will never see it again!