Starring: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Written By: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
Directed By: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
Studio: Lions Gate Film
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Two movies came out this year that looked utterly bizarre. The Lobster, which I loved, and then Swiss Army Man. While I enjoyed Swiss Army Man for the most part, it kind of veered into another movie towards the end.
The movie is about Hank (Paul Dano), who is stranded on a deserted island. He has given up on life and about to hang himself, until he discovers a farting corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) washed up on shore. Hank decides not to kill himself and talk with the corpse. To his surprise, the corpse slowly starts to come back to life and talk with him. The corpse’s name is Manny and they quickly become friends. They go on an adventure to try to get Hank off the island. If you think that is weird, yes it is, and it gets weirder and more bizarre by the end of it.
I was looking forward to seeing Swiss Army Man because it just looked silly and weird. I’m usually either on board with those movies or I want no part of them. But with Swiss Army Man, I’m kind of in the middle. I enjoyed a lot of parts of it, laughed out loud a lot but by the end I was just kind of creeped out and shaking my head. I don’t really think the directors knew what kind of movie they were trying to do. Sometimes it was a low-brow comedy with the all the fart jokes (which I still find funny), at times felt like a romance/bromance between a crazy guy and a dead guy but then it was a disturbing drama by the end of it.
If you don’t want to be spoiled, then now’s a good time to stop reading…..Pretty much how I see it, Hank was a suicidal schizo who became friends (or more than that?) with Manny, the dead person he created in his mind. He was already a creepy stalker by taking pictures of Sarah and her family, and then living by her in the woods. Looks like he was taking things from her house too? Then when everybody finds him, they see how he interacts with Manny. What I don’t get is everybody else sees Manny farting out into the ocean. It’s probably just in Hank’s fucked up mind but who knows with this movie. It was just weird. I did like the twist that he wasn’t really on a deserted island, and I guess I should have noticed it sooner before the cars were driving by. After all, there were a lot of trash and material he was working with to build his contraptions with Manny.
I think the movie was starting to lose me before that though when Hank was starting to dress up as Sarah and it was just getting way out there for my liking. He did kiss Manny at one point so something else was going on there, like he was in love with a corpse? Is this a new type of movie, the Necromance genre? Swiss Army Man felt like Cast Away, if only Tom Hanks fell in love with the volleyball and fucked it. Paul Dano’s character didn’t screw the corpse but who the hell knows! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about this getting dark because this film does star Paul Dano, who picks nothing but weird, dark disturbing characters to play. Daniel Radcliffe has been picking some interesting roles to play after Harry Potter as well. All the weirdness and complaints aside, these guys were excellent together. Radcliffe seemed like the team player and did a lot of his own stunts, and played a dead body quite well.
The Blu-Ray contains a few extras like a Q&A with the directors, deleted scenes, behind the scenes featurette, a making of the Manny dummy featurette and audio commentary. I checked out a few of the extras like the behind the scenes which had some cool footage on how they did some things.
Swiss Army Man had it’s funny moments but it doesn’t really know what kind of film it wants to be. I thought the ending kind of ruined the overall movie for me. I enjoyed a lot of it in the beginning but then it was getting weirder and weirder; darker and darker. The performances were outstanding though. This is going to be a film where people either love it or hate it. I’m not sure which category I’m in yet.
Q&A With Filmmakers
Swiss Army Man: Behind The Scenes
“Making Of Manny” Featurette
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color
Bottom Line: You’ll either love or hate this movie
Running Time: 97 mins