The Day Shall Come (4 stars)

The Day Shall Come

Chris Morris returns to the war on terror with an eye-opening satire that's as fresh as it is funny

Nine years after the bravery and brilliance of his last big screen offering, Four Lions, Chris Morris belatedly returns with a transatlantic companion piece that's both surreal and horrifying. Set in Miami, The Day Shall Come sees the war on terror become an assault on basic human decency as the FBI contrive a man's downfall.

'Based on hundreds of true stories', it gives us a well-researched reality that's as madcap as a Terry Gilliam-style fantasy. Charismatic newcomer Marchánt Davis plays Moses, the founder of the 'Star of Six', an ailing community farm and mission with a handful of followers. Although he preaches about gentrification and white oppressors and sees himself as a revolutionary, Moses is deluded in the extreme. For instance, who needs guns when you have a horn that can summon dinosaurs?

Hellbent on prioritising convictions over justice and not above creating terrorists to do it, the FBI (led by Anna Kendrick's all-too eager beaver and Denis O'Hare's dangerously desperate boss) have this utterly harmless, mentally ill man in their sights, sending in one of their most inept informers (the excellent Kayvan Novak) to entice Moses into committing a serious crime by providing the financial backing, and brazen encouragement, to do so.

One of Britain's comedy's titans, Morris has always been several steps ahead of his rivals in his ability to recognise the ridiculous and tackle the taboo; by exposing an outrage that's seldom talked about, his take on the robustly explored subject of terrorism feels fresh and essential. Co-written with the similarly talented Jesse Armstrong (the co-creator of Peep Show, who's currently wowing with TV's Succession), the laughs come thick and fast but it's underpinned by an ever-present humanity – its sympathies firmly aligned with a seemingly goofball outsider who's poignantly off his meds. As hilarious as it almost always is, there's sincerity too as well as twitchiness and tension, in a film gearing up to deliver one heck of a gut-punch.

General release from Fri 11 Oct.

The Day Shall Come

  • 4 stars
  • 2019
  • UK / US
  • 1h 28min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Chris Morris
  • Written by: Jesse Armstrong, Chris Morris
  • Cast: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks, Kayvan Novak, Denis O'Hare, Jim Gaffigan
  • UK release: 11 October 2019

Moses (Davis) is the founder of the Star of Six, an ailing community farm and mission, who refuses to take his psych meds; Kendra (Kendrick) is the FBI agent tasked with making him look like a bona fide terrorist. Well-researched and yet madcap, Morris’ comedy is firmly on the side of the mentally ill, goofball outsider…

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