Swiss Army Man
If you get tired of watching sequel after sequel after sequel, wouldn’t you like to see a creative work of cinematic art?
Swiss Army Man is a unique, creative tour de force that will leave you both wincing and laughing from beginning to end. The first film directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, it will challenge your senses at every turn. It is impossible to tell whether the principal characters are dead or deranged, and you reach the point where you simply don’t care.
The wonderful Paul Dano plays Hank, a desperate young man contemplating suicide as he lives alone on what he perceives to be an island. When Tom Hanks stayed alive in Cast Away (2000) by developing an attachment to a volleyball, Dano is saved from an attempt to hang himself when a dead body washes up on shore.
Daniel Radcliffe plays Manny, the corpse soon to become Hank’s close friend. Madness quickly ensues when you see Hank using Manny’s farting body as a speed boat to enable both to escape onto the shores of another wooded island. Yes, I know it sounds both ridiculous and absurd, but you are in for a completely unanticipated treat.
As Hank tries to survive by lugging Manny’s body around from one location to the next, Manny suddenly starts to regain the ability to speak. In the process, he becomes a human version of a Swiss Army Knife for Hank’s lost soul. It becomes evident that Hank lacks the confidence to meet the world’s problems head-on, even when it includes pursuing a beautiful woman who he remembers repeatedly seeing on a city bus.
I don’t need to issue a spoiler alert, as I think you could only benefit from having various moments of this imaginative film repeated for your consideration. Though it is clear that Hank remembers very little of the real world, you see poor dead Manny seeking Hank’s help in explaining the significance of masturbation and the continual erection he experiences when looking at an old Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition the lads discover in the woods. Let me say that the boys also consider the significance of human excrement, so the movie becomes a Star Trek-type film that will take movie audiences on a trip they have never experienced before.
As noted, the interplay between our two lads is frequently hysterical beyond description. Dano is a wildly talented actor as seen in his role playing Brian Wilson in last year’s Love and Mercy, his nasty turn as a slave overseer in Twelve Years a Slave (2013), a memorable role in the heartwarming Ruby Sparks (2012) and his defining contribution to the lovely Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
Though Mr. Radcliffe will always be remembered for his spectacular performance as Harry Potter, he has slowly advanced into a newer artistic world as seen playing Allen Ginsberg in Kill Your Darlings (2013) and the curious investigator in the horror film The Woman in Black (2012).
This film has nothing to compare it to, which is its inherent strength. Put another way, how could a plot centering on farting, a reoccurring hard-on and masturbation possibly be enjoyable? Curious?