Film Review – Swiss Army Man (2016)


Title – Swiss Army Man (2016)

Director – Daniels (feature debut)

Cast – Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Plot – Stranded in the pacific ocean and devoid of hope, lonely Hank Thompson (Dano) is given a new wind after Manny (Radcliffe), a flatulent prone corpse, washes up on the beach, leading to a strange but life affirming friendship.  

“You can’t just say anything that comes into your head, that’s bad talking”

Review by Eddie on 20/10/2016

He may’ve come face to face with Voldemort, ridden a Hippofgriff, caught a snitch with his mouth and generally been a legend but we sure as ever have never seen Harry Potter like this or doing things of this nature.

Daniels (made up of directing duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) film about Paul Dano’s unfortunate soul Hank Thompson whose found himself lost at sea and all alone, until that is he finds Daniel Radcliffe’s flatulent prone corpse who we eventually become to know as Manny after he miraculous comes back to life (or something akin to it) is not only one of 2016 biggest oddities but one of cinemas most curiously amusing tales and that the film is even half as enjoyable as it even is is something to take note of as a film about a weirdo stalker and his fart producing corpse best friend doesn’t exactly seem like the stuff of quality movie material.

Much of Swiss Army Man’s saving graces stem from not only Daniels quirky directional ticks that call to mind an abstract version of a Wes Anderson film (with additional wind) but the commitment of the two aforementioned actors who each dive headfirst (and bums up) into this utterly bonkers feature that at its core is trying to say rather big things about life, love and friendship albeit with a wind infused flavour.

It’s a wild journey as Hank’s travails to survive ramp up but it’s an experience that slowly but surely runs out of gas (please don’t pardon the pun) and while there are genuine moments of laugh out loud hilarity and a few odd but somehow touching moments, at the end of it all, especially after a rather disappointing finale, Swiss Army Man feels like long-winded take on a rather simplistic premise, no matter how odd it may at first seem.

The commitment by its cast and drive to be something utterly different (plus perhaps an attempt at breaking the record for most farts in a singular movie) can be commended but this well shot and put together indie trip ends up being a rather forgettable experience, disappointing then for a film where Eli Sunday finds himself riding Harry Potter like a jet ski through the open seas, propelled only by a sense of stoic determination and a magic belly full of what seems like an endless supply of potent gasses.

2 ½ gassy Harry Potter’s out of 5

13 responses to “Film Review – Swiss Army Man (2016)

  1. I don’t know about this movie. Haven’t seeing it yet, but a lot of people seem to like it. To me, I think it look stupid. I don’t see the appeal.

  2. Hi Eddie –
    Really surprised you didn’t like it that much. I really liked it because it was stupid and touching and funny and ambitious and flawed and stuffed with too many metaphors, and sometimes it was too simplistic for its own good, but I think we need movies like this from time to time, even if they don’t completely succeed in terms of the story. Enjoyed the review, though.

    • Cheers mate. I certainty did enjoy huge amounts of the film but at the end of the day it had to many weaker points in my mind. Looking forward to what the directors do next.

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