‘Swiss Army Man’ is the Weirdest Movie You’ll See This Summer
Summary: 'Swiss Army Man' won't be everyone's cup of tea, but in an age of derivative movies, this oddball charmer is a breath of fresh air.
Swiss Army Man is the oddest movie you’ll see this summer — if not this year, or even in your lifetime — and whether that’s a good or bad thing depends entirely on your taste in movies.
The film stars Paul Dano as Hank, a young man stranded in the wildnerness, and Daniel Radcliffe who, in his boldest attempt yet to distance himself from the titular role that made him famous in Harry Potter, plays a rotting corpse dubbed Manny.
It’s an intriguing premise, but it’s not difficult to see why it’s polarizing. Several members of the audience walked out when the film premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. And the film currently boasts a somewhat divisive (though overall positive) 63 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Some people are going to be turned off right away by the gross-out humor in this film. Radcliffe’s Manny farts, wheezes, and goes through a whole range of gross bodily functions throughout the course of the movie. If you’re not turned off by fart jokes, you’re likely to find hilarity in these moments. If you find fart jokes universally juvenile, you’re going to have problems with a significant chunk of the film.
That’s a shame, though, because the film has plenty of poignant moments amidst the farting. When Hank discovers Manny’s body, he uses him as a kind of sounding board for his life’s struggles. Dano plays Hank with trademark vulnerability, and as he attempts to help Manny rediscover what it means to be alive, he confronts the problems that made his own life so hard, such as loneliness, alienation and body shame.
Visually, the film is fun to look at it. It was written and directed by music-video directing duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — who go by DANIELS — and their visual flair is apparent throughout the film.
Love it or hate it, one thing’s for certain: You’re not likely to see another film like Swiss Army Man anytime soon. In an age of endless superhero sequels, adaptations, and brain-dead comedies, it’s refreshing to see something different on the big screen, whether it’s your cup of tea or not. Swiss Army Man is definitely different, and on that basis alone, it’s worth watching.