Film Review & Trailer: Swiss Army Man

Frances Winston wasn’t quite sure what to make of this latest Daniel Radcliff offering, where he is playing a corpse throughout!

swiss_army_man_posterDirected by: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan – Starring: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

I may as well just be honest here and tell you that this is one of the most bonkers movies you will see, not just this year but probably ever. Not bonkers as in it’s aimed at stoners, and not bonkers as in it’s trying to present some sort of existential message in a bizarre way. Just good old-fashioned mad as a brush bonkers.

Why? Well, for a start, Daniel Radcliffe’s character, Manny, is dead for the whole thing (I know what you’re thinking – what a challenging role). He washes up on an island just as the stranded Hank (Dano) is about to kill himself. When he can’t resuscitate the corpse, Hank gives up hope again, but then Manny begins to fart (yep it’s that kind of flick) and Hank uses the flatulence to ride him like a jetski to the mainland.

Once there, Hank discovers just how useful the corpse can be (hence the title of the movie –he’s like a Swiss Army Knife – geddit!) but then something mysterious happens. Manny starts communicating, and begins to speak and interact with Hank, eventually trying to sort out Hank’s unrequited love with chaotic results.

I’m not gonna lie – I’m somewhat at a loss as to how to describe this. It goes beyond what I would consider experimental, and at times seems almost self-indulgent. What saves this is Dano, who gives a fantastic performance against Radcliffe’s mysteriously reanimated corpse. However, the whole premise is so mad that you spend most of the movie processing it, and wondering what the hell you’re watching!

I enjoyed this (I think) as it has some wonderfully witty whimsical moments but I would need a second watch in order to actually figure out what I saw. This is a hard movie to pin down, and a hard one to describe. I don’t feel I fully processed it on one viewing, but I don’t really have a desire to watch it again.

If this is on your cinema hit-list, make sure you are sober going in, pay close attention to everything, as it is all interlinked, and don’t even try to figure it out or analyse it.

To sum this up, it is an acquired taste, and won’t be to everybody’s taste (particularly since Radcliffe spends a lot of the movie farting). You have been warned.

On limited release now!

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