Swiss Army Man
review by Bobby Blakey
Daniel Radcliffe is one of those few child actors that has done a great job at taking his career in some bold new directions with some really strange and memorable roles. His latest, Swiss Army Man alongside Paul Dano, might be the most bizarre yet but does it offer up the memorable feature that have people talking or will it be dead on arrival?
Swiss Army Man follows a man stranded on a deserted island and about to kill himself and notices a corpse washed up on the beach. He befriends it, naming it Manny, only to discover that his new friend can talk and has a myriad of supernatural abilities...which may help him get home. The trailers for this movie kept no secret about how strange this story was going to be so going into it you have a sense of curiosity of how they are going to be able to pull it off. From the moment this film starts it offers up a great story that is unlike anything before it. Sure you can say there is a Weekend at Bernie’s premise here, but there is something much deeper at work. The story focuses more on the journey of Paul Dano’s character obviously since he is the one that is alive, but it’s his relationship that forms with Radcliffe’s corpse that makes it work. Both actors are excellent here crafting a strange friendship that is blended with real life and fantasy in a way that offers up an original approach for once in film.
The directors behind it referred to as Daniels (Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) have taken some big chances here with this story that could have easily gone from being clever and compelling to ridiculous and silly. Thankfully they have masterfully created a fairytale type story that you will find yourself sucked right into. They have taken the ideas and physical attributes of the dead body including the gas that stores inside it and made full use of it with hilarious results. The use of bodily functions is funny enough on its own, but they have made them seem necessary for survival while keeping you entertained and engaged with something that feels fresh and new.
Both Dano and Radcliffe offer up some memorable moments throughout the film building a story that is deeper than just craziness, but about loss and purpose. The ending of the film leaves it open for you to make some conclusions yourself to what you just watched, but either way there is no denying that it is a hell of a lot of fun. It is an acquired taste on some level, but if you give it a chance then you in for a treat so grab your copy of Swiss Army Man available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.