“… a wonderful, hilarious, and endearing film as soon as you get past the rather smelly beginning.”
Swiss Army Man is a movie that I have been waiting to see ever since I heard that it prompted many walk-outs during its run at Sundance. After seeing the movie, I can definitely understand why some people decided to jump ship. Swiss Army Man is a movie about a man named Hank (Paul Dano) who is stranded on an island. After giving up all hope, his attempt to kill himself is disrupted by the discovery of a farting corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) that washes up on the beach. What follows is a hilarious, touching adventure shared between the two as they try to get home.
When I said that I understood why people walked out of Swiss Army Man, it wasn’t necessarily a knock against the movie. What you have to understand is that Swiss Army Man takes a while to get going. For the first 30 minutes (or so) the film consists of a man talking to a corpse who’s only “dialogue” is a series of farts. Had I not already heard good things about the film, I would have walked out as well. Fortunately the movie picks up shortly after this, and what we get is a story that is both hilarious and heartfelt. The comedy doesn’t only come from flatulence but instead from dialogue and situations that are so outlandish that you can’t help but laugh. The film is carried by Paul Dano and his ability to make you believe what you are seeing, even though every shred of intelligence that you posses tells you that it is impossible. The film also stars Daniel Radcliffe who did a great job for his role, but honestly I found him a little stiff. Not only was the movie fun to watch, but it was also beautiful to experience. The cinematography was spectacular, and it really captured the sense of wonder and awe that you feel throughout the film. The soundtrack is not one that I will soon forget with most of the songs being these beautiful a cappella renditions that blend in seamlessly with the tone of the film. Throughout Swiss Army man you are watching such a weird premise unfold, but you eventually get used to it and the fact that it is so weird is forgotten. Then the ending of the film comes around and you are brutally snapped back to reality, and are forced to realize how outlandish the film has been up to this point. I’m not saying that the ending was bad, as a matter of fact in terms of making me feel something it knocked it out of the park; I’m just saying that it didn’t sit perfectly with me. I suppose that it makes sense in the grand scheme of things, but it almost feels separate from the rest of the film.
Ultimately Swiss Army Man is a wonderful, hilarious, and endearing film as soon as you get past the rather smelly beginning.
I give Swiss Army Man a B