‘The Day Shall Come’ Review: The Revolution Will Be Compromised

A circular firing-squad of full-on crazy, Chris Morris’s “The Day Shall Come” barges into American counterterrorism tactics with sledgehammer satire and a numbingly repetitive plot.

All credit to Marchánt Davis, then, for finding the deep pocket of poignancy in his beleaguered character, a Miami preacher and sidewalk revolutionary named Moses. Protesting gentrification and an assortment of social ills, Moses and his wife (a wonderfully wry Danielle Brooks) run a tattered urban farm where he and his ragtag band of followers plot to overthrow “the injustice of the white European.” With the help of dinosaurs and ray guns.

Moses is clearly delusional, not evil, but tell that to Kendra (Anna Kendrick), the avid F.B.I. officer whose cartoonishly incompetent team sees an opportunity to log an easy homeland-security win. Enlisting a bemused informant (Kayvan Novak) to pose as an Arab terrorist, Kendra orchestrates a sting operation designed to entrap Moses rather than investigate him. What follows can only be described as a pileup of screw-ups, a slapstick circus that can’t decide who is slapping whom.

Assuring us via title card that the movie is “based on a hundred true stories,” Morris (who wrote the script with Jesse Armstrong) comes nowhere close to the bitingly smart humor of his 2010 jihadist satire, “Four Lions.” Moreover, thanks to Davis’s perfectly guileless performance, we never forget we’re laughing at the pointless persecution of a harmless, mentally ill indigent.

That nagging discomfort could be what sinks “The Day Shall Come.” Or maybe it’s felled simply by the challenge of writing satire at a time when the headlines of “The Onion” are not that much different from those of The New York Times.

The Day Shall Come

Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 27 minutes.

The Day Shall Come

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