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The Day Shall Come (A Movie Review)

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

The Day Shall Come


Starring Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks, Kayvan Novak, Denis O’Hare, Jim Gaffigan, Miles Robbins, Pej Vahdat, Adam David Thompson, Mousa Kraish, James Adomian, Malcolm Mays, Andrel McPherson, Curtiss Cook Jr., Drew Gehling, Andrew James Bleidner, Stephany Liriano, Michael Braun, Rodney Richardson and Calah Lane.

Screenplay by Chris Morris and Jesse Armstrong.

Directed by Chris Morris.

Distributed by IFC Films. 88 minutes. Rated R.

It’s not often when you find a comedy which touches on such hot-button topics as ISIS, the illegal arms trade, neo-Nazis, government incompetence, social media jihads, nuclear weapons, construction equipment accidents and magic horses.

So, The Day Shall Come is a quirky, edgy, black comedy.

However, is it a funny comedy? I’m not sure I can say yes to that. There are some very funny moments here. Still, during most of the film the audience will be debating whether The Day Shall Come is funny ha-ha or funny strange. Honestly, it’s a bit of both, but I think more people will come down on the second side. I must give filmmaker Chris Morris some credit though, he was willing to take some real chances here.

I just wish I liked the movie more than I did. Particularly since co-writer director Chris Morris has shown himself to be a very sharp political satirist working on the fantastic TV series Veep. Sadly, The Day Shall Come lacks the bite – both comic and dramatic – of that superior show.

The poster for the film shows the filmmakers’ offbeat point of view, claiming that the film is “A comedy based on a hundred true stories.”

I’m not sure which of those hundred stories led us to this story, based in the lesser neighborhoods of Miami (only a couple of times do you get to see brief shots of the wildlife of Miami’s beach and party districts).

The main character here – or as close to a main character as the film has – is Moses Al Shabaz (Marchánt Davis). Moses is a nearly broke Muslim preacher who is struggling to keep his family and his (very small) flock from being thrown out of their home. He’s also rather delusional, perhaps even a bit insane. He makes a series of Facebook videos predicting the next Jihad – though he doesn’t mention he is anti-violence and guns, and the fact that his “army” is made up of four people – five if you count his eight-year-old daughter.

However, somehow the videos catch the attention of the local office of the FBI, which think they have found a new terror cell and decide to set up a sting against Moses and his flock. The problem is, despite his rhetoric, Moses is mostly an upstanding law-abiding sort. Still, with his church and home just being foreclosed on, he is desperate for money. Therefore, he plays along with the undercover agents, and then tries to turn them in to the FBI himself.

Another problem is the fact that all of the FBI agents in this office are loose cannons; inept, borderline corrupt, and deadly afraid of confessing their mistakes.

So, yeah, basically it is a movie about people pretending to commit crimes in concert with other people who are also pretending to commit crimes. Therefore, a lot of nothing happening leads to a comedy of errors which keeps escalating.

Morris is trying to make a wild political satire, like Dr. Strangelove, The Mouse that Roared, Wag the Dog, or In the Loop (a spectacular but mostly forgotten film by his former Veep boss Armando Iannucci). Sadly, The Day Shall Come does not quite have the insight, the savagery or the comic chops of those films.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2019 All rights reserved. Posted: September 27, 2019.

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