Have a Nice Day

Hao ji le

Multi-strand Pulp Fiction-style gangster narrative meets bold, frequently hilarious social satire, in this thrilling Chinese animation.

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Dir-Scr Liu Jian
Prod Yang Cheng, Liu Jian
With Zhu Changlong, Cao Kai, Liu Jian
UK Distribution MUBI

Young delivery driver Xiao Zhan steals a bag containing a million yuan so that his girlfriend can have the plastic surgery she wants. This foolhardy theft sets off a chain reaction: a gangster, a hitman and an inventor of X-ray glasses all race to retrieve the loot, while Xiao Zhan lays low in an internet café. Existential pessimism pervades this adult animation – a sassy satire on the characters’ enslavement to capitalism. And it’s not just contemporary Chinese social mores that the film gives the stink eye to. Donald Trump, Brexit and the philosophy of Steve Jobs are all targets for ironic digs. But if this anti-globalisation talk is killing your buzz, fear not. There are plenty of bloodthirsty Tarantino-esque genre thrills to be had (think Pulp Fiction set in grungy Chinese backstreets) and the film’s pacing, black humour and bone-dry wit make it a brilliant, biting delight.

Kate Taylor