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Have a Nice Day(大世界)

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China · 2018
1h 17m
Director Liu Jian
Starring Yang Siming, Cao Kou, Ma Xiaofeng, Zhu Changlong
Genre Animation, Crime

In a desolate city in the south of China, Xiao Zhang, a young driver, steals a million dollars from his gang lord boss to help his girlfriend fix a botched surgery. Multiple parties ruthlessly pursue the money in this darkly funny animated crime drama set over the course of one violence-packed night.

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What are people saying?

Kelsey Thomas Profile picture for Kelsey Thomas

HAVE A NICE DAY has a lot to say despite its conservative runtime, an unusual feature for a neo-noir, a genre film that tends to glamorize its own complexity. But don’t worry, the plot is more than complex enough, clearly inspired by the likes of the Coen brothers and Quentin Tarantino. The reluctant inhabitants of Liu Jian’s modern Chinese city are full of dreams but strapped for cash. Many want to escape the dismal neon landscape, constantly under construction, to the idyllic countryside that has never seen a bulldozer — if only they had the funding. The story quickly moves beyond Xiao Zhang and even the cash itself, instead zeroing in on a cast of characters with one thing in common: greed. An inventive and interesting film with more political undercurrents than I was expecting — in a good way.

What are critics saying?


Village Voice by Bilge Ebiri

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.


The Hollywood Reporter by Boyd van Hoeij

Like in any good genre yarn, there are a lot of unexpected twists and turns as characters run into each other — often quite literally and sometimes even with their vehicles — in the desperate hope of getting their hands on the money.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The vivid palette of Liu’s animation conveys a comic book-like exuberance to the proceedings, but the underlying socioeconomic frustration is very real.


The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Liu is clearly inspired by live-action filmmakers (the Coen brothers and the Japanese actor-director Takeshi Kitano are acknowledged influences), but his casual side trips into the fantastic—say, an extended daydream sequence that’s part parody of Cultural Revolution propaganda, part karaoke video—can only work in drawing.


Variety by Jessica Kiang

Liu’s storyline may be a slight and generic madcap gangster/hitman/thief movie, but the details of aesthetic design and character interaction flesh it out into something a little more wittily resonant, if not exactly deep. The pointed inventiveness of the carefully premeditated form doesn’t just compensate for the banality of the content, it becomes the content.


Screen International by Jonathan Romney

Liu Jian’s animation Have a Nice Day is at once a bloodthirsty genre thriller; a political statement about China, globalization and capitalism; and a vibrantly witty piece of postmodern pop art.


The Film Stage by Rory O'Connor

It might not quite end on a satisfying note, but Have a Nice Day remains an urgent, thoroughly entertaining, and inventive piece of filmmaking.


Slant Magazine by Wes Greene

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.

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