Released on September 27, “The Day Shall Come” is 2019’s latest comedy. Despite a promising cast including Anna Kendrick and Jim Gaffigan, the movie only made $14,854 during its opening weekend, making up 55% of its total gross.
Chris Morris directed, popular for his 2010 “Four Lions.” With similar themes, Morris centered “The Day Shall Come” around the Liberty City Seven case of 2006. It involved a Miami-based African-American cult called the Universal Divine Saviours falling to FBI agents pretending to be from al Qaeda and offering them money to destroy the Sears Tower in Chicago.
Morrison dives into the idea that the FBI is more talented at producing fake terrorists than catching real ones. Furthering his motive of exposé, he opened the film with a claim that it can be based on “hundreds of true stories.”
Set in Miami, Moses al Shabazz (Marchánt Davis) leads his three followers as the “Star of Six” cult. They believe in and anticipate the “day of great inversion,” meaning the day injustices to black people will be set right. This is explained to him by God, who he believes took on the form of a duck and spoke to him.
A level of silliness masks the whole plot, as the group uses toy crossbows and believe dinosaurs will serve as their backup. Kendra Glack (Anna Kendrick) of the local FBI unit suggests entrapping the Star of Six when they lost their original group to frame for a terror bombing. Glack and the rest of her team send a fake Middle Eastern sponsor, interested in funding “people building armies,” to offer money and guns to Moses. Their plan suffers from an overestimation of Moses’ criminal abilities, interfering by reporting each test from the agents to the FBI itself. The only way to salvage the sting, was to escalate it into a nuclear war threat.
Morris explains the scenario as a display of “an unfortunate truth that has brought farce to the heart of America’s homeland security project,” in which “informants encourage a person of interest to break the law and when they do, the FBI arrests them.”
Some portions translate uncomfortably from the screen to the viewer. The movie painted several black characters in a light of gullibility for the sake of humor, as it follows the Liberty City Seven template. Other stereotypes and provocation lead Morris teetering on the edge of political correct. This was initially intended to build a facade of stupidity for the ragtag group. Morris removes this over the course of the film using pathos to turn Moses into a fully rounded character. He remains a source of foolish humor throughout, but also with a unique nobility.
Morris aims to invoke fear in Americans that our government is attempting to push people like Moses and his followers over the edge. Through exaggeration and silliness, he presents the ridiculousness of this system. The films saturation with absurdity takes away some opportunities for seriousness; nonetheless; Morris continued his preferred themes of exposing illogicies within the government.
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