British screenwriter and producer Jesse Armstrong is responsible for some of the sharpest, wittiest TV shows of all time. One glance at his sparkling filmography reveals a plethora of gems: he wrote the scalding political satire The Thick of It (and its cinematic follow-up, In the Loop); he created and wrote the side-splitting and highly inventive Peep Show and Fresh Meat; and he executive-produced and wrote the sensational Succession, which just raked in a slew of awards. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too. While the man certainly knows satire, comedy, and politics, he’s also a keen observer of the human condition, touching upon the entire spectrum of emotion, from cringe-inducing to nerve-shredding.
After working together on the formidable Four Lions, The Day Shall Come marks Armstrong’s second collaboration with director Christopher Morris (another British comedy thespian). Their darkly satirical sophomore feature isn’t quite as assured or nuanced. It may require a moment to adjust to the film’s breathless pace and off-kilter tone, but once attuned, you’ll be rewarded with a sharply funny and oddly heartbreaking, albeit clumsily structured, indictment of our government. Think a more absurd Veep, which incidentally both filmmakers worked on. Armstrong’s razor-sharp trademark one-liners go a long way in saving this Day.
“…agents Kendra and…Andy plan an elaborate scheme…so the feds can frame [Moses]…”
Taking place amidst the hustle and bustle of Miami, the films follows Moses (Marchánt Davis), an impoverished street preacher. He and his partner, Farmer Afrika (Andrel McPherson), concoct supremely elaborate schemes to get privileged white millennials to contribute to Moses’ The Star of Six Community Farm and Charity Mission. The Mission’s mission? “May you live to see the accidental dominance of the white male overthrown,” Moses tells a young man, pocketing the doofus’ $20.
Moses lives in a dilapidated house, which also serves as his church, with wife Venus (Danielle Brooks) and three children. He is quirky, to say the least. He refuses to use guns (unless they’re ray guns), favoring the sword, sling, or crossbow as his weapons of choice. His god(s) remain ambiguous. “In the name of Allah, Melchizedek, Jesus, Black Santa, Muhamad, and General Toussaint,” he concludes each of his prayers. As his “church” consists of barely three people, he attempts to recruit new members. “The rest will come on a first some, then more basis,” he says. That is until his family receives an eviction notice.
In the meantime, FBI agents Kendra (Anna Kendrick) and her sexist boss Andy (Denis O’Hare) plan an elaborate scheme of their own. It involves an informant, pedophile Reza (Kayvan Novak), fueling the hapless Moses’ crazed militant ambitions, so the feds can frame him, and consequently boost their profile. This soon blows up in their face; an extended, crazed finale ensues, involving fake nukes, an undercover cop under the guise of a hillbilly Nazi called Lemmy (Jim Gaffigan), and a farcical pursuit that leads to an unexpectedly resonant, gravely serious ending.
"…victimization, gentrification, prejudice, economic disparity, FBI corruption, and workplace sexism...in barely 80-minutes."