Have a Nice Day Screen 79 of 7 reviews

Have a Nice Day

2017

Have a Nice Day Poster
  • It's at once a bloodthirsty genre thriller; a political statement about China, globalization and capitalism; and a vibrantly witty piece of postmodern pop art. In other words, it’s like no Chinese film you’ve ever seen. If you had to make comparisons, however, the film plays like a cross between No Country For Old Men and Jia Zhangke’s thriller A Touch of Sin, put through a coolly affectless quasi-anime filter; although the style and the approach are very much Liu’s own.

  • The fact that we’re watching a cartoon adds a welcome layer to the experience. As a live-action film, Have a Nice Day would probably feel both predictable and contrived. . . . But the surprisingly vibrant, hand-drawn images of Have a Nice Day revitalize the story’s more tired elements. It may not give us anything new, but Jian Liu’s film looks lovely and, at 77 minutes, doesn’t overstay its welcome. And sometimes that’s enough.

  • Leisurely and deliberate, intelligent and casually cruel, “Have a Nice Day” is a stone-cold gangster thriller whose violence unfolds in passionless bursts. Opening with a quotation from Leo Tolstoy’s last and bleakest novel, “Resurrection,” this wittily animated feature from the Chinese writer and director Liu Jian presents a generic, follow-the-money tale as a Darwinian commentary on ruthlessly modern materialism.

  • Liu's meticulous linework, muted solid colors, and interplay of simple features and crisp details brings to mind Adrian Tomine and an assortment of other like-minded graphic novelists and alternative cartoonists. There’s novelty in seeing it off the page, if not exactly in motion. His animation is often limited to a single fizzling neon sign, smoking cigarette, or jerky movement in a panel-like frame; the static style is part and parcel to Liu’s deadpan black humor.

  • The film's pale-hued, Flash-like animation is abundant in detailed backgrounds that make the characters stand out like placards, allowing for Jian's critique of modern China to land with maximum force. Jian understands that a society that puts a premium on cash flow is, not unlike widespread technology, capable of both connecting and isolating people.

  • A memorable black comedy–slash–violent thriller that centers on the theft of a bag containing a million yuan. The film’s colorful palette is a spot-on evocation of China’s neon-sleaze cityscapes, the voiceover acting is superb, and the sharp script offers a fresh take on materialistic obsession in today’s not-so-red China.

  • The humor is dark, the murders multiple. Clear, sparse lines contain dulled greens and grays that are the nature of a life bred from concrete and capital. Yet these hapless figures inhabiting this space of sin are sympathetic, in a way.

More Links