Have a Nice Day
Chinese filmmaker Jian Liu writes and directs the deliberate but gripping Have a Nice Day, a pitch-black animated feature set in a decaying city in southern China. Centered around a stolen briefcase full of money, the story melds elements of contemporary slow cinema into a twist-filled, 1990s-style crime film, while also serving as a scathing indictment of the new Chinese capitalism. Low-level driver Xiao Zhang steals a bag of money belonging to aging crime boss Uncle Liu, who is busy waxing nostalgic while watching his childhood friend get tortured. When Xiao falls asleep in an internet café, a hammer-wielding inventor and his greedy girlfriend make off with the bag, while a black hat-wearing hit man cuts a bloody path towards the cash. Running a tight 75 minutes, with an oblique yet ultimately airtight story structure, Have a Nice Day feels like a film created to screen in Quentin Tarantino’s extended cinematic universe.