Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

I Had a Wet Dream

Sorry to Bother You (2018) on IMDb

Plot Overview

phone jockeyFour months unemployed Cassius “Cash” Green (Lakeith Stanfield) pads his resume for a job inter­view with RegalView Call Center in San Francisco. They're not particular and hire him because he's got initiative and can read a script. He's also got an angle on the phone and advances to a higher tele­marketing tier using his “white voice” even though he him­self is black. His radical, artistic fiancée Detroit (Tessa Thompson) threatens to drop him on account of his salacious compromises. Steve Lift (Armie Hammer) the CEO of client temp-labor firm WorryFree wants to steal him for a large sum of money to be the “wonder boy” for their genetically enhanced work force with the strength of a horse. For all his existential desire to be some­body, Cash begins to realize it might be better to be a nobody.


Martin Luther King Jr.Lift would have Cassius be a Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) for the horse-humans on a five-year contract. We're not so sure the original MLK did all that much good in this alternate reality, because they've still got institutionalized slavery in it: The company WorryFree offers secure jobs, housing, and food for life (i.e. no worries) and uses its temp workers to provide twice the out­put at half the price, in other words slavery (“Cheapest labor in the world.”) But then the whole history of race relations is different in this movie than in the real world.

The origin of the Negro slave would have been pretty well understood, at least in the Bible Belt where they had them in the South: Writer Bodie Hodge (134) quotes “Bible Questions and Answers,” The Golden Age (July 24, 1929): p. 702.

Question: Is there anything in the Bible that reveals the origin of the Negro?

Answer: It is generally believed that the curse which Noah pronounced upon Canaan was the origin of the Black race. Certain it is that when Noah said, “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be to his brethren,” he pictured the future of the Colored race.

That answer follows the Bible story: (Gen. 9:18-19) “And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan. These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.”

(Gen. 9:20-23) “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the naked­ness of his father, and told his two brethren with­out. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went back­ward, and covered the naked­ness of their father; and their faces were back­ward, and they saw not their father's naked­ness.” The wine sapped Noah's strength, possibly because the climatic conditions in the new world allowed for more vigorous fermentation. Here one sees the lack of covering. The brother Ham had an evil imagination like unto (Gen. 6:5) what was part of the wicked world that God had just destroyed. (2Peter 2:5) “And God spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.”

(Gen. 9:24-27) “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.” Canaan is the youngest son of Ham carrying the curse on the whole family by a figure of speech called a synecdoche where part stands for the whole. (Jasher 73:35) “For the Lord our God gave Ham the son of Noah, and his children and all his seed, as slaves to the children of Shem and to the children of Japheth, and unto their seed after them for slaves, forever.” The earth had been (Gen. 6:11) “filled with violence.” Now Noah knew what Ham had (Gen. 9:24) “done unto him.” Because of bringing wickedness into the cleansed world, Ham's progeny was cursed with servitude to the progeny of his two brothers & their progeny.

(Gen. 10:1) “Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth: and unto them were sons born after the flood.” Noah's three sons are listed according to biblical significance; Ham (Gen. 9:24) is actually his youngest. (Gen. 10:6) “And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.” Cush is Hebrew meaning black. Researcher Bodie Hodge confirms that “As a general trend, Ham is the father of many peoples in Africa” (122). “Much of the southern part of Africa was known as the Lower Cush. It makes sense that Cush's many descendants migrated to many of these areas initially” (127). Dr. Ide adds, “Ham sired four sons: Cush (translates as ‘black’) … and Canaan the youngest” (62).

In “Sorry” Cash and his girl sleep in the converted garage of Cash's uncle Sergio (Terry Crews.) A garage is the one kind of room that's regularly entered backing up. Its faulty door rises on its own exposing the occupants in an embarrassing position from which Cash hustles to lower the door, amidst cries from the neighbors, “GET A ROOM!” Later on they will fight over the covers. In this alternate reality they are modest about covering up, and we suppose their ancestor Ham was like­wise modest, so there would have been no curse from Noah. Thus there would have been no biblical justification for Negro slaves. Detroit's statement would have been acceptable on its face that our successful economy “started by stealing labor from Africa.”

With the South in an inferior moral position, they would have had to clean up their act. There would have been no Civil War and consequently no outright abolition of slavery, though many still wouldn't like it. Its form would be palatable enough for many Whites to join WorryFree, as we see them doing, speaking black English even (“You feel me.”) The term “nigger” has no pejorative content in this movie's reality, so we see a white audience repeat a black rap line to their hearts' content with such a word in it that would be verboten to Whites in our own real world. The White suburban neighbors seeing an unemployed black man living in their neighbor­hood, tell him to “Get a room” rather than, “Get a job.” At work he advances without prejudice. He uses his “breezy” white voice, just what one would expect from one who's inheriting a blessing rather than a curse. It's MLK's I Have a Dream come true, but in this alternate reality, not in our real world. In our real world it seems to be more difficult to fulfill. The alternate one, how­ever, conforms to MLK's preaching who ignored the incident with Noah when declaiming on the equality of man.

The local labor dispute involves employees who claim they haven't the minimum to survive on, yet they can afford purchases from the vending machines. Management greed is the focus of protests, and they do seem to be well compensated. This is not sorted out in the movie. One group of advocates briefly points out that every­one is a sinner and that “sinners are winners” when unfairly taking more than their just share. Lift aligns with Jesus the savior whom we all need on account of endemic sin no matter which way race and labor relations swing in a fallen world.

Production Values

This Comedy/Fantasy/Sci-Fi flick, “” was written and directed by Boots Riley. It stars Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, and Jermaine Fowler. Lakeith Stan­field's character is a stand­out in this mixed up world. Also note­worthy are Tessa Thompson & Armie Hammer. They all were great, every one of them.

MPAA rated it R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, graphic nudity, and drug use. It was filmed in Oakland, California, USA. The film's sound­track is a choice mix of rap & pop music. The lip sync for alter­nate voices came off with­out a hitch. It bounces around a lot among sub­plots, made worse for not being rooted in a familiar reality to begin with. Never­the­less, it holds together well with internal consistency.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

It's almost not fair to say I liked it, because I like all kinds of movies. It would most appeal to some­one with artistic tastes. The labor politics are deliberately left unresolved. If you insist on steady, straight­forward plots, this one probably should not be your first selection, but it could be tolerable for a second pick. There's too much tension within the couple on multiple levels to allow me to recommend it as a date movie. See it with a significant other at your own risk.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age Special effects: Absolutely amazing special effects Video Occasion: Better than watching TV Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Hodge, Bodie. Tower of Babel: The Cultural History of Our Ancestors. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Pub., 2013. Print.

Ide, Arthur Frederick. Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homo­phobia and Hetero­sexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument Press, 1992. Print.

The Book of Jasher. Translated from the Hebrew into English (1840). Photo litho­graphic reprint of exact edition published by J.H. Parry & Co., Salt Lake City: 1887. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Pub., 1988. Print, WEB.