An impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for the FBI who plan to turn him into a criminal by fueling his madcap revolutionary dreams.
Chris Morris is an elusive figure in comedy, regularly disappearing for months or even years at a time before reappearing with a new project often tackling a subject that others wouldn’t dare go near. TV series ‘Brass Eye’ covered a range of controversial themes, and his debut film, ‘Four Lions’, managed to make a sharp comedy out of the subject of terrorism. His latest, ‘The Day Shall Come’, continues in this satirical vein, turning attention to the United States and the absurdity at the heart of their homeland security operations.
Moses Al Shabazz (Marchant Davis) is an impoverished preacher in Miami, who leads a small group attempting to bring hope to the Miami projects. He suffers from delusions and believes God speaks directly to him, and this delusion is fuelled when the FBI latch on to him as a potential mark to set up as a criminal and a terrorist. Why would they do this? Seemingly to boost terrorism arrest statistics and to raise their own profile, but I did sometimes struggle with the believability of the story on screen which just felt too ridiculous, even for someone who can accept that the FBI are more than capable of politically motivated inhumanity. Anna Kendrick plays an FBI operative who is our primary viewpoint into their absurd approach and she’s set up to be the morally conflicted agent caught between two sides, but I don’t think the material was strong enough in this respect to make her story a truly compelling aspect of the movie.
The film’s opening explains that what we’re about to see is based on 100 true stories and I think that broad canvas is part of the problem with ‘The Day Shall Come’. The film takes a scattergun approach and Morris struggles to draw the stories that inspired the film into a coherent narrative that works from start to finish. It’s often very funny, particularly the more absurd elements, but it doesn’t get under the skin of the material and I wasn’t as invested in Moses as much as I wanted to be. ‘The Day Shall Come’ isn’t Chris Morris at his sharpest, but the absurd story at its heart delivers several laughs and for any fans of his work it’s worth checking out.
Directed By: Chris Morris
Starring: Marchant Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks, Denis O’Hare, Jim Gaffigan, Miles Robbins, Pej Vahdat, Kayvan Novak, Mousa Kraish, James Adomian and Malcolm Mays