Annapurna Pictures has released the first trailer for writer/director Boots Riley’s colorful satire Sorry to Bother You, offering audiences a first look at what I can confidently say is the most insane movie you’re likely to see all year. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and knocked audiences’ socks off with Riley’s pure, unfiltered ambition, resulting in a film with many genuinely crazy twists and turns. That the movie works so beautifully as a whole is a testament to Riley’s talents—this movie is nuts, but the nuttiness has a purpose.
It’s a film that’s hard to sum up in a couple of sentences, but I’ll do my best. It takes place in an alternate present day version of Oakland and follows a telemarketer named Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) who begins rising up the ranks at his office when he’s taught how to use his “white voice”—which is just David Cross dubbing all the lines. The film tackles issues of corporatism, racism, misogyny, feminism, community, greed, assimilation, unionization, gentrification, and much, much more. The film is highly satirical and takes place in a heightened reality that, as it gets crazier and crazier, somehow continues to feel realistic.
That’s the tight rope walk Riley toes here, and he does it pretty miraculously. On a script level this movie could easily have turned into a disaster. Indeed, the most insane thing about the film is the mere fact that Riley pulls this magic trick off as well as he does. And that’s saying something.
Stanfield is tremendous in the lead role, proving he can more than hold his own as #1 on the call sheet, while Tessa Thompson also delivers a standout performance that further shows off her range. And then there’s Armie Hammer. The less said about his character the better, but the dude came to play.
Honestly this is one of those films probably best experienced as cold as possible, but if you’re still unconvinced by my rambling check out the Sorry to Bother You trailer below followed by a gallery of images. And click here to read Matt’s review for a different take. The film also stars Terry Crews, Steven Yeun, Omari Hardwick, Jermaine Fowler, and Danny Glover and opens in theaters on July 6th.