The Day Shall Come

Year: 2019
Production Co: See-Saw Films
Director: Chris Morris
Writer: Chris Morris
Cast: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Denis O'Hare

Well, you certainly can't complain you've seen this kind of thing a million times. African American revolutionary Moses (Marchánt Davis) operates a commune and base of operations in a depressed Miami neighbourhood, adopting delusions of greatness that far outstrip his means as he tends his tiny flock (his devoted but sassy wife and child and a few hangers-on), works his tiny front yard garden farm and tries to fend off his sleazy landlord.

When the rent is so far behind and the landlord threatens to kick everyone out, Moses must turn himself in knots trying to maintain his political dignity and not turn to violence or dirty money (but he'll come up with any mental acrobatics to do so when the opportunity lands in his lap) to get out of trouble.

One such opportunity comes from a local deadbeat and drug dealer who approaches Moses saying he has a deal with a Middle Eastern terrorist who wants to funnel money and machine guns to Moses' cause.

What the clueless quasi-revolutionary doesn't realise is that the whole thing is being set up by the local FBI office, where agent Glack (Anne Kendrick) has hatched a plan to furnish Moses with contraband so as to pin local political unrest on him.

But in the grand tradition of the US intelligence agencies on film, they make a complete hash of any attempt to meddle in the body politic. That's especially so when Moses meets with the arm-dealing sheik (another FBI informant) and asks not for guns and money but a horse, which he promptly rides to the doorstep of the FBI office Glack is working out of, offering to turn the sheik in for a reward.

It all escalates from there when Moses' family and followers are evicted anyway and the landlord (another FBI plant) says if Moses sells some weapons grade uranium for him, he'll let everybody back into the house.

Moses takes off with his posse to complete the deal with a fearsome white supremacist Nazi bikie gang (who are yet more FBI informants), unintentionally sparking a widespread incident when the local police get wind of it and declare a potential nuclear emergency.

And all the while, Glack and her superiors and colleagues in the background are trying to keep a lid on the whole ridiculous farce before it explodes in a war of either race, terrorism or just stupidity.

It feel on the surface like a potentially good idea, but a tighter script and a clearer portrayal of the satirical intent would have helped – there's no sense anywhere of who's doing what. Is Moses a blundering fool deserving of the ridicule some scenes treat him with, or a devoted and caring religious leader with a strong sense of social justice trying to hold his family together?

I also know I've alluded to the FBI being bumbling incompetents throughout this review, but Glack is actually portrayed as a whip smart, snarky and professional. Some of her superiors are too, it just seems the approach behind the whole exercise that's so breathtakingly dunderheaded.

There's a lot in it, but it's either too tightly knotted for any of it to breathe or the script contains every idea cowriter and director Chris Morris (Four Lions) thought to throw in hoping some of it would turn out okay. You have no idea where any of it's going, which is good, but Morris and cowriter Jesse Armstrong don't seem to either, which isn't.

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