Hank, stranded on a deserted island and about to kill himself, notices a corpse washed up on the beach. He befriends it, naming it Manny, only to discover that his new friend can talk and has a myriad of supernatural abilities...which may help him get home.Written by
Much more than just fart jokes, 'Swiss Army Man' is deep & unpredictable
Usually, fart jokes are associated with bad raunchy comedies in the likes of Adam Sandler's recent career, or really uncreative family movies. Insert, 'Swiss Army Man' – the Sundance title that's generated the most vocal reaction amongst festival goers for it's ridiculous, now infamous, farting dead body played by Daniel Radcliffe. This is only how the film begins, and let's just say it toots even louder from there.
Paul Dano plays Hank, a man lost on an island. Right when he's about to give up on life, he discovers the aforementioned farting body and finds an unexpected answer to why his life is worth living. He discovers that many elements of this body can help him survive and find a way back home, and keeps himself sane (or perhaps insane) by talking to it.
The writer/director duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as "the Daniels", have a reputation for ridiculous and highly entertaining short films and music videos, and this feature represents a conglomerate of numerous ideas that sound bad yet somehow all work. As Hank develops a relationship with the dead body (one that starts out similar to Wilson in Cast Away), the intriguing absurdity keeps you engaged for the rest of the film. This is the type of film best seen with little information beyond the initial premise, as it is full of mystery boxes waiting to be unraveled. Thanks to the great use of locations and production design, the world- building is fantastic and the wackiness becomes downright fun.
On top of being a silly movie that doesn't pretend to take itself seriously, 'Swiss Army Man' sneaks in themes of societal behavior and what is considered weird vs. what is normal. It's rare to find a movie that is so unpredictable in an engaging way, and because the movie begins with something so ridiculous and only goes deeper from there, it allows for limitless ideas on what is going to happen next and continues to be fun to watch. The reason the film may be polarizing is because of how silly it all is, but going in knowing it will be this way is all you need to jump in and enjoy the show. There is little more to say without giving too much away – essentially, if you can accept absurdity and be along for the ride, this movie may just sneak up and treat you to a great time overall.
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