Thursday, October 6, 2016

Now on Amazon Prime: Swiss Army Man (2016)

Swiss Army Man movie poster
Swiss Army Man (2016) - Written and Directed by Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert; Starring Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

By Kenny Howell

Swiss Army Man lays its cards out on the table right off.

Paul Dano's Hank is about to commit suicide when he sees a corpse wash up on shore. The corpse, played by Daniel Radcliffe (Kill Your Darlings), is farting and shaking all over the place. Dano, who is seemingly stranded on an island, rides his farting corpse like a jetski to safety.

So, yeah, that's what you are dealing with. Writer-Directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who go by Daniels according to the movie poster to the left, use that weirdness to craft a tale of a man trying to get home with the help of a corpse. The dead body, which is named Manny, begins to talk and befriend Hank. He is a bit of a blank slate, just a physical body that Hank teaches all about the world. He also has some handy things like puking clean water, which Hank can drink.

Hank tells him about the girl he loves, Sarah, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane). He saw her on the bus and is mesmerized her. She doesn't know he exists, but that doesn't stop him and Manny concocting circumstances to where they win Sarah's heart.

Like I said, you probably decide what you are going to think of the movie in the first 10 minutes. I did for the most part, which is I didn't buy into it. Kwan and Scheinert are trying to reach these great meanings about human existence, but it's hard to get there when they keep falling back on silly things like a farting corpse, something that lasts throughout the film. They are too stuck on whimzy to really get to those moments. They do take the film into an interesting place, which I kind of saw coming, but probably where it needs to go. I appreciate the effort, and trying something different. They definitely did that. In the end, they just never seem to commit too much, and fall back on everything that has come before, which is mostly farting.

Swiss Army Man is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating: **1/2

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