Friday, 7 October 2016

'Swiss Army Man' Review


It's not everyday that you see a film where you have Harry Potter playing a flatulent corpse. One of the most bizarre plots of the year brings us 'Swiss Army Man', the comedy where a man befriends a corpse that has super powers that you have never seen before. 


Hank (Paul Dano) is stranded on an island and is about to end his life until he spots a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) that has washed up on the shore. Lifeless, but very flatulent, Hank uses this to his advantage as he uses the body to get back to the mainland. Now he finds himself lost in the wilderness, dragging his corpse friend now named 'Manny' with him.

The film starts with Hank looking to take his life and almost accidentally successfully does so until he sees Radcliffe's lifeless body. It is made very clear straight away that the corpse's bowels are all that is working. This gets the film started with a barrel of laughs as the body becomes out of control due to the flatulence. This does go borderline to overdoing it as it is very childish humour and if it had went on much longer, it could've easily become very tedious. This does start to make you doubt the film as you are unsure if you would be unable to take that same humour for over an hour and a half.  Fortunately, the film handles this fairly well as the film progresses onto the next chapter of Hank and his new buddy Manny's relationship. This does happen a lot with the humour as the comedy is handled very well, not overstepping it which it could have easily done so.

I've found myself struggle to sell this movie and explain it to people without them looking at me rather puzzled. That's because the original ideas of the film are like nothing seen before and are that bizarre that you can hardly imagine a film like this. Manny becomes a human version of Swiss Army Knife- hence the title 'Swiss Army Man- which includes his penis becoming a compass, being able to shot objects out of his mouth at high velocity and working as a water supply. Manny's body becomes useful for just about anything that will allow Hank to survive which does lead to some scenes that are beautifully edited with quick cuts that bring some very humorous moments. As said before, the film doesn't rely on the same thing for too long and ends up moving onto something else equally as original before it becomes too much.

Amongst all of this madness is much deeper messages however. It's crazy that a film that is know for a farting corpse actually is one of the more enlightening and touching films of the year. The movie looks at Hank dealing with personal troubles such as his hunt for love, fear of death, not doing what you really want to and overall being happy in life. It goes fairly deep into these subjects with Manny offering service as a therapist. Even the use of farts stand for something deeper as it is really about holding things in due to being embarrassed about what others will think which Manny teaches Hank about. Again, this shows that Manny was helpful in anyway possible to Hank, offering emotional support rather than just physical. Manny also seems to go through the stages of life, having to learn new things like a child to learning about sex as a teenager then further on to learning about true love as an adult. These aspects certainly surprised me as it came totally unexpected, especially once you see the opening scene.

Daniel Radcliffe deserves great praise for his role in this film with only being able to rely on his delivery and facial expressions. He is magnificent and deliver every line as hilariously reacts to everything in the only ways he can. This involves him sitting in very awkward positions or face down in the dirt but Radcliffe does fantastically in a role that would not have been easy in the slightest.  Paul Dano also does a great job which consists of him having to carry the lifeless body around the forest. He is clearly not in a good place and Dano shows this very well throughout the film.

The main flaw with this film is in the last act for me as it continuously bounces between ideas to the point where it becomes fairly messy and hard to keep up with. There are so many switches in the end that happen which makes it seem fairly confusing at times. It certainly does follow the trend of strange things happening throughout the film but it certainly could lose some people after all of the hard work that had been done in the rest of the film. A problem as well is that the film may just be too bizarre for some people which may get in the way of them fully appreciating the movie. It goes borderline to being too silly for people to take the messages seriously which is a real shame.

Overall, 'Swiss Army Man' is the most bizarre film of the year, but most definitely in a good way. One of the funniest films of the year with a much more clever message than the material suggests. Everything seems to bizarrely work but it most definitely isn't for everyone, you could easily become fed up with the humour or just miss the messages due to the humour. The two lead performances are fantastic as 'Swiss Army Man' really surprised me. The ending does hold it back a little but this original film takes a whole bunch of risks that work out well for the film. Bizarrely wonderful, this film is worth seeing as it is nothing like anything you have ever seen before.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Swiss Army Man'? If so, what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie which I urge you to do ASAP! Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor