Boots Riley directs Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson and Armie Hammer in this anti-capitalism satire that follows a cold caller who is promoted within his company opening up a dark, fantastical conspiracy to exploit the workforce.
A wildly unpleasant surprise, possibly the best cinematic satire since the long forgotten Bulworth. What starts out as a keen and quirky parody of race suppression in a sales environment suddenly spirals maniacally out of control into shocking and absorbing directions. As visually outlandish as the storytelling becomes the points made feel apt and humanistic. It helps that every piece of casting is a smash, marrying interesting faces with unique roles. Lakeith Stanfield in particular, continues on from his fine work in TVs Atlanta (a spiritual cousin in formal invention and subversion), with his lynchpin lead. His complicit victim is weak willed yet self aware, physically hunched over as if he carries the ethical weight of all the world’s ill on his shoulders. He is mirrored in the eventual arrival of Hammer’s self absorbed, thrusting tycoon. The bullying air of threat is soaked into every friendly gesture of this familiar megalomaniac. Of course, this would all fall apart if Sorry to Bother You wasn’t funny. Boots Riley manages to hit all his targets with a cruel wit and escalating mania, you can’t help but laugh out loud at the horrors he unfolds.