The first time we see Darius on Atlanta, he’s holding a knife in one hand and a plate of cookies in the other. It’s an effective visual metaphor for Lakeith Stanfield, who has a sweet unpredictability to him. That’s certainly the case in Sorry to Bother You, an out-there comedy from first-time director Boots Riley (best known until now for his politically charged hip-hop group The Coup).
Stanfield plays Cassius Green, a broke telemarketer in Oakland who “discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a macabre universe.” The “magical key”? Using a “white voice” (his is provided by David Cross; Patton Oswalt and Steve Buscemi speak for other black actors). The “macabre universe”? That would be a spoiler to say, but trust us, it’s… unexpected.
Our own Mike Ryan, reviewing the film at Sundance, called Sorry to Bother You the “wildest, craziest” film at the festival. “What makes this kind of crazy movie stand out is that, even though there are moments of true absurdity,” he wrote, “the narrative is never lost. This is a movie with a point of view that maintains the rationale of that point of view throughout.” It’s also a movie where the most popular show in the country is I Got the Shit Kicked Out of Me.
Sorry to Bother You — which also stars Tessa Thompson and Armie Hammer (who are both fantastic), Steven Yeun, Danny Glover, Terry Crews, Omari Hardwick, and Jermaine Fowler — opens on July 6.