Not My Day (Nicht Mein Tag) (2014)

A mid-30s bank employee bored with his life and how humdrum things have been for him as of late becomes involved with a bank robber as a hostage at first and subsequently as a more and more willing participant.

Based on a novel by Stefan Holtz and Ralf Husmann, the film is written by Peter Thorwarth who also directed, Not My Day, or Nicht Mein Tag in German, is an action-comedy with some existential-crisis fun thrown into the mix.  This leads to a fun-filled, insanity-fueled romp that is exhilarating and funny in turns, with moments of humanity.  Thorwarth makes the film into one that is on point in terms of a heist-gone-wrong movie.  The story is entertaining, the characters touching when they are not just being crazy, and the overall feeling of the film is something that is not often achieved in that it works as a heist film, as a comedy, as a buddy/mismatched buddy film, etc.

The characters created by Holtz and Husmann and put on the screen by Thorwarth are played here by Moritz Bleibtreu as Nappo, the bank robber, Axel Stein as Till, and Jasmin Gerat as Nadine in the leads with Anna Maria Mühe as Miriam.  These leads take the story and characters and give them their all.  Bleibtreu and Stein make for an unlikely pair, just like their characters, playing off of each other’s energy and vibe a lot as well as going back and forth in a way that is entertaining and believable.  Bleibtreu most recently seen by this reviewer as a serious pharmaceutical industry employee by this reviewer does a 180 from that in this film, showing that he can handle most parts given to him.  His charisma carries his character and plays perfectly against the lack of charisma shown by Stein for the sake of his character at the start of the film.  As the film advances, they learn from each other and imprint a little on each other as well.  The evolution of the two of their characters is interesting to see throughout the film and even throughout the credits where bloopers are shown.  The ladies in each of the characters’ lives are played to complement them by Gerat and Mühe who give extra touches of crazy for the former and down-to-earth when needed for the latter.  The cast here works really well together and seeing them again would definitely be a treat.

“Not My Day” is shot like an action film, partially like a car or road movie, and this serves it well.  The cinematography by Jan Fehse is not afraid to show the action which is fantastic given the obsession that is still somewhat prevalent of shaking the camera in action sequences.  The editing by Andreas Menn goes with this and does not overly cut the scenes, especially the actions scenes, letting everything be visible and enjoyable.  There is a part of the film that will not be described to not be spoiled, but when it switches to this, it becomes a blur and a bit annoying but it has a point so it should be stuck through to get to the rest of the film that gets back to the previous style and fun action.

Not My Day is one of those action-comedies that works.  It’s a heist film and a buddy movie and so much more.  The acting is on point throughout and adds to the buddy angle but also the human-side of things, giving the characters humanity and reality.  The action itself is shot in a way that the viewer can see everything going on and really get into it, making it effective and enjoyable.  Not My Day is an entertaining action, road movie, heist film, comedy that should be seen.