Ok, my thoughts on SORRY TO BOTHER YOU is going to be one of the only times I do a super spoiler heavy review because I have sat here, and thought and thought and thought on how to write my review, yet find someway to express how I feel about the third act without spoiling everything. I have given up. So, if you really really really really want to see this movie, DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW. I’m not going to mark a paragraph spoiler alert or anything, I am going to jump in and out at anytime, wherever my mind takes me when I want to talk about it. If you’ve already seen the movie or for some weird reason you are a weirdo about spoilers and don’t care if you read them or not, then I suggest to keep going. Because I’m going to spoil the entire third act in my first sentence of the next paragraph. You ready? You sure? Last warning:
The entire third act reveal deals with turning humans into horses with giant cocks so that way a companies’ ‘slave’ labor has faster and better production results. You read that sentence again didn’t you? You are either wondering if I am pulling your leg or if they actually show these horses with giant cocks. Well…I shit you not. They show these horses…that were turned from human using a cocaine like substance…and these horses…they have giant cocks. Ok, we have gotten that out of the way. Now if you are still here and haven’t even heard of this movie, go and watch the trailer to it. I’ll wait. Ok, welcome back. Now, humans turning into horses with giant cocks is not even hinted at in that trailer right? Correct. The marketing on this film is so good that really the whole ‘African-American rising through the ranks of a telemarketing company using a Caucasian man’s voice’ is only really the tip of the iceberg to what this movie is truly about. The movie has multiple messages up the wahzoo, and anybody that really really really likes this film could probably view this film multiple times and still find something new that it is talking about.
I am unfortunately not one of those people that really really really really like this film. Is it because of the third act? Partially. Some people are saying that the third act reveal will either make or break the film for the modern audience member. They’re right. But as a film lover and wannabe critic, I fall somewhere right in the middle. See, I don’t think the film is terrible. In fact, the movie has some pretty damn good performances, especially from Lakieth Stanfield and Tessa Thompson. And the movies’ messages, while more of a hit or miss affair, when the messages hit, they hit hard, but when they miss, they miss hard. The whole white voice thing that is so funny in the trailers? Those are all the funny parts right there, completely laid out in front of you, and then the white voice thing gets really old, really fast. In fact, almost all the funny bits are in the trailer except for the use of the word Debauchery and the ‘Have A Coke Bitch Wig Hat” bit. Some parts of the movie weren’t funny at all, were boring, and almost had me falling asleep. The movie itself goes on about 10-15 minutes too long, and ten whole minutes that could’ve been cut deals with Tessa Thompson during one of her art shows where they throw cell phones at her and balloons filled with some kind of mammal pig blood, while she stands there almost naked with leather gloves covering her private bits. Yes, I’m still not shitting you by the way.
What is this movie about anyway and how does the third act fit in? Glad you asked. Where as the trailers seem like it is going to be a character piece about this African-American guy rising up the ranks of a company using a white man voice (if it stuck to this plot alone, the movie would’ve been quite predictable and maybe not have the impact it now has, see while I am not recommending this movie, I will remember it for quite some time, maybe that was the point) the whole movie is really a giant message about where the world is going as a society and where certain horrible shit going on just happens to be accepted by everyone because of media influence. When the main character played by Stanfield uncovers this human horse cock plot and releases it to the media, the media makes it out like it is no big deal, and the company that he works for (their boss played hilariously by Armie Hammer), their stock prices skyrocket. And there are more messages like that in this film. There are messages upon messages upon messages, but if I got into all of it, this review would be too long (it already is) and you would just skip to the end (which you are probably doing now). You should know by now that I don’t think that just a message makes a movie.
The movie, at times, can be very interesting, because while this certainly takes place in the near future, we don’t know how near, and that is the scary part. There is this company called WorryFree in the film that promises work and living quarters for the rest of your meaningless life, and as you can guess, it is basically slave labor. The top television show on air is, “I Got The Shit Kicked Out of Me,” where it does what it says and then dumps you in a vat of poo. I’m still not kidding. The question is, will this work for you? Because a lot of critics, in fact, I think it’s 95% on Rotten Tomatoes right now, the whole movie did work for them, 3rd act horse cock and all. But only 67% of audiences liked it. And I know Rotten Tomatoes isn’t the be all end all of statistic existence, but it gives you a general overview. In the end, the movie didn’t work for me, and I am not even sure on multiple viewing if it would. The third act was just too bizarre, and everything before it, that would lead to this humans as horses with giant cocks pay off, I don’t think was organized very well. The uneven plot and story structure combined with some of the editing and unnecessary fat in unnecessary scenes probably did this. If writer/director Boots Riley had trimmed the fat, cut about 15 minutes off of the film, and the whole structure reorganized, the third act would’ve worked in spades and he would’ve had a potential masterpiece. Plus more laughs. It definitely needed more laughs. And while this movie was not for me, I have to say, seeing that as this is Boots Riley’s first feature film, and that before this he was a rapper and music producer, it shows potential, and maybe down the line he will make something that I find spectacular. Sorry, but this film did bother me a little.