Considering one of the main characters is a dead body who constantly passes gas post-mortem, it’s safe to say Swiss Army Man is one of the riskiest projects of 2016. What’s even crazier is everyone’s favorite former Hogwarts wizard Daniel Radcliffe plays the flatulent corpse along side Paul Dano. The new acquaintances start a very freakish relationship with one another that is sure to confuse and turn off many viewers. To say Swiss Army Man is strange is an understatement.
Swiss Army Man is a distinct take (to say the least) on loneliness and what the feelings associated with this life of solitude can do to your mental state. Paul Dano plays Hank, a troubled young man who is not just stranded on an island, but totally bonkers. Proof of Hank’s unstable mental status becomes clear when a body washes up on shore that Hank begins to play with Weekend at Bernie’s style. If this description sounds surreal, you would be right. The film takes weird to the extreme as Hank uses Manny the corpse and his special fart power as a harpoon, jet ski and even a water fountain.
Swiss Army Man is unique, but is also a gross and hard film to enjoy. It’s tough to find sympathy for Hank considering he acts out his fantasy with a rotting corpse that slowly begins to come alive again. The story tries to be a sweet tale about a man dealing with his social awkwardness, but it’s difficult to warm up to the format when the sounds of farts litter our scenes of sentiment. Inserting bizarre elements into your tale can work, but only if there is a payoff at the end of this strange journey that brings you back to reality. Swiss Army Man has none of that and is just weird for the sake of being weird at times.
Swiss Army Man may not work making an emotional connection with its absurd premise, but there is a few bright spots in the film. Both Dano and especially Radcliffe turn in solid performances as the odd duo. You may roll your eyes or not care about what happens to the pair on their journey, but there’s no denying Radcliffe and Dano are committed to the material even if it fails to translate to a mainstream audience. It’s hard to make a movie about hope when death is ever-present and background juvenile noises distract from the intimate story trying to be told in Swiss Army Man.
Overall, I give Swiss Army Man 2 out of 4 stars.
Read all my reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell