Bad Boys for Life
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This was a very good movie with actors that I really enjoy . 3.8
As funny as the first 3/4 of the movie is, it doesn't compare with the gut punch of an ending which reminds you that this "satire" is essentially reality now.
This was a great movie! Funny, thought-provoking, upsetting, and sad. Real-life U.S. government behavior as satire is dead.
There are a lot of comedies that want to be a bit serious as well and comment on real world things. All too often, they forget the first purpose of comedy: to make you laugh. This film, the latest from satirist par excellence Chris Morris, does not forget this. Consistently, the travails of bemused and bewildered yet oddly charming would-be revolutionary Moses Al Shabazz brought audible chuckles from me. He's so stupid, and so earnest, and that's always a winning combination. So what if he wants to lead a black uprising against white oppressors? He doesn't use guns, he broadcasts on Facebook Live and he worships Black Santa. He's adorable. So much so that throughout all the nonsense he spews (and he's a fountain of it), he never seems cruel, or mean, or selfish, or a bad husband and father. Which makes it all the more sad when he becomes a pawn in the machinations of the FBI and their requirement to catch would-be terrorists, even if they're terrorists of the FBI's own creation. The FBI sections of the film play out with the kind of straight faced, believable, bureaucratic absurdity that you'd be forgiven for thinking you were watching the FBI version of Veep (created by Morris' longtime collaborator, Armando Iannuucci). Anna Kendrick is great as the agent who puts Moses on the FBI's radar, delivering that acerbic, sweaty, Veep-ish dialogue with gusto. The film falls apart a little for me at the end, which provides a shift in tone so violent and depressing that I felt whiplashed by sadness. Which is a real shame, as up until that point it had been a punchy, well-written, well-acted story that made me think whilst making me laugh.
Bloated, confused, derivative.
I really like Four Lions so I was eager to see what Chris Morris had to say on his return, ultimately the message of the film is funny and too true for some Americans to bear, I just wish the film was funny. I didn't really laugh the whole way through and I thought it was actually quite boring and stale which is a real shame as I had high hopes. I like the way Morris directs, it almost feels like a documentary which I suppose it semi-is but it wasn't sharp enough for my liking and I found myself feeling relieved when it finished which is never a good sign.
Not a patch on Four Lions, but you can never go far wrong with Chris Morris
Written by Chris Morris and Jesse Armstrong and directed by Morris, The Day Shall Come is inspired by real-life cases such as the Liberty City Seven and the Newburgh Sting. And as one would expect from Morris, it's darkly comic until it turns deadly series, a transition that drives home that, yes, what the FBI is doing is farcical and satire-worthy, but so too is it destroying lives, which isn't especially funny. It's a very delicate balancing act, but Morris pulls it off for the most part, and although The Day Shall Come isn't a patch on the superb Four Lions (2010), it's still a bitingly funny study of institutionalised paranoia.
In Miami, impoverished Moses Al Shabaz (a superb Marchánt Davis) is the leader of Star of Six, a revolutionary group that aims to overthrow the "accidental dominance of the white people", although they have no money and only four members. Despite having the "threat signature of a hot dog", Star of Six end up on the FBI radar, monitored by Agent Kendra Glack (Anna Kendricks), who's ordered to find evidence that they are engaged in terrorist activity, and if no such evidence exists, then she should fabricate some, because it's easier to manufacture a fake terrorist than it is to find a real one.
The Day Shall Come was inspired by real-life incidents such as the Liberty City Seven (where seven unemployed construction workers were convicted of terrorist activities after an FBI informant persuaded them to plan an attack on Chicago) and the Newburgh Sting (where the FBI manipulated four Muslims to agree to shoot down American aircraft flying out of Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, NY). Researching the cases, Morris learned such absurdities were relatively normal - since 9/11 it had become standard for FBI informants to actively encourage persons of interest to engage in terrorist activities, which strays dangerously close to entrapment.
Like most of Morris's work, The Day Shall Come is a Juvenalian satire. It's not as funny as The Day Today (1994) or Brass Eye (1997-2001), but then again, what is? However, there are plenty of laughs. For example, there's the terror suspect who can't dial the number to detonate a nearby bomb because he's afraid of the number five, prompting Glack's superior, Agent Andy Mudd (the always terrific Denis O'Hare), to scream, "did we know he was a pentaphobe?" Because that's a real thing.
Especially funny is the exchange between Mudd and Glack as Mudd explains that to diffuse the nuclear emergency declared by the Miami PD, she must also declare a nuclear emergency, telling her "the logic only works if you say it slowly. Keep the contradictory elements apart", pointing out that she'll look insane "only if you say it fast." This is a good example of the film's brand of comedy, layering the ridiculous on top of the farcical, with a very definitive Armando Iannucci vibe.
Elsewhere, Chief of Miami PD Settmonk (James Adomian) gives us another good example of absurdity when he argues, "unarmed white man, unarmed black man. Which one is more likely to have the gun?", a line that's hilarious on its own, but troubling when applied to a real-world context. A similar line is Mudd's, "the next thing you know, the Statue of Liberty's wearing a burqa and we've beheaded Bruce Springsteen." Again, a funny line, but given the irrational hysteria and baseless paranoia that forms the basis of how so many Americans feel about Muslims, there's a very serious component at work here.
On the film's official website, Morris says the film is about "how institutionalised paranoia corrupts our thinking." The line about the Statue of Liberty is a good example, but so too are the multiple references to a "black jihad", a concept that seems laughable to sane ears, but is not so far-fetched when one considers that 31% of Americans believe a race war is imminent. Within all this, Morris never allows the film to become didactic; he's addressing hugely important issues, but without ever talking down to the audience. He's irreverent and sarcastic, but never condescending or patronising.
Towards the end of the film, Morris distils everything down to a very simple maxim – the conduct of the FBI may be absurd, but it has a very real human cost. Yes, we can (and probably should) laugh at the bureaucratic nonsense and procedural ineptitude, but that does not imply we should laugh at the results, which sees real people (who are almost exclusively poor and black or brown) put in jail for a very long time.
Irreverent, condemnatory, and politically incendiary, The Day Shall Come shows the damage the FBI is doing by targeting poor communities in the hopes of finding someone (anyone) planning the next 9/11. And if they can't find someone, they create that someone. All in the name of good optics. As funny as it is, the film is also bracing and, by the time it ends, extremely sobering.
Hugely disappointing, thin plot, short on laughs, weak dialogue. Not what you expect from Chris Morris.
This film was pitched to be quality along the same lines as Four Lions. It wasn't. It was utter drivel. Not funny, poor audio quality, and subject matter nothing pointless. I see no point in recommending this film unless you are under 10, despite the 15 Certification in the UK.
Just not funny.
As a fan of Brass eye, Four lions this came across as forced and humourless.