All trumpetings re: timeliness are liable to fall short of adequately itemizing the ways in which SORRY TO BOTHER YOU is in fact timely. Might simply suffice to say it is a very brainy riff on the myriad crises inherent to our current neoliberal implosion and corresponding intimations of endtimes. And it's popular entertainment! I thought of Mel Brooks, but also Melvin Van Peebles, Robert Downey Sr., and REPO MAN.
Am amazed this movie got made, and so happy it did. It's destined to be a classic. The film addresses broad themes of happiness, systemic racism, "authenticity," and capitalist exploitation via a uniquely woven mixture of satire and black comedy. Am amazed that Riley was able to maintain a consistent tone throughout all the widely varying surrealist scenes. Terrific performances from Stanfield, Thompson, and Yeun.
This deserves to be what we used to call the "sleeper" hit of the Summer. Finally we have a brilliant film that delivers on the the promise of one-note satires such as WHITE MAN'S BURDEN and BAMBOOZLED and works on a variety of levels not seen since Charlie Kaufman and is the perfect tonic for these awful times! Sadly, the young people in the audience were scratching their heads yelling "WTF" upon exiting!
It's rare to see a comedy like this today that gives restraint and convention such a large middle finger. While that does lead to the film having a choppy (and sometimes confusing) flow and occasionally losing track of its story, it is a unique and constantly funny satire. The best scenes are hilarious and the weakest scenes still have some substance. It's an impressive debut for Boots Riley, to say the least.
Black comedies, more than most genres, are a product of their time, & that this was still sold out on week 2 makes a film so unapologetically critical of the current/evolving status quo a big win already, just re reach/timing... Tradeoff: Lots of ways the film falls short & fails to adequately interrogate its own complicity (doesn't make Bechdel's grade; tropes rather than protagonists, etc) Still, very welcome! 3.75
So this is like the third Tessa Thompson flick where in the last bit of the film her character acts out of character in service to the lead male character (Creed obvi, Thor 3 never got why Valk was ok with him becoming king), for ... reasons. Spoilers, I def saw her as more of the hero of the film so I found it odd she took Cass back in the end. Still tho, I enjoyed its look at our insane world
The Squeeze character was off. Reminded me of Communist Lawyer in Wright's Native Son (ideological deus ex machina) plus love triangle was so tedious. Ding #2: the riff on contemporary virality was reminiscent of an old man shouting, at kids, "Get off my lawn!" LOL. All that said, the beating heart of navigating how to live a life well lived in a broken society, is really beautiful, hilarious, and hits hard as fuck.
[San Francisco's Alamo Drafthouse]*US of A*|Boots Riley in attendance served us a shot of stories surrounding its troubled & lengthy production] "Don't do the thing./ What thing?/ The thing where you fuck it all up". Feel as sad and wrecked, surprised & mesmerized, as I did after Annihilation. Who said "Get Out' on acid" wasn't wrong. I'd go a step further (but also a step aside/to the side) - it's a bit more than ▽
Its so of today....but not in a good way. Was such a hipster gen film by someone I never expected to do it that way. Its like blog post talking points pieced into movie. Plus its sloppy, aesthetically unrealized and is so in love with its ideas that it doesn't trust itself and goes for pyrotechnics when it could honestly, be a bit simpler. In short its radical "thoughts" aren't radically realized aesthetically
This is honestly the closest American analogue to LOVE EXPOSURE that I can think of. Doesn't go quite as far off the deep end as I would have hoped, and doesn't fully examine certain intriguing aspects (especially re the art world), but it's pretty fucking sharp on race and class especially as a studio product and I laughed more times than I can remember during any recent film. Whole cast is impeccable. More please.