MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Swiss Army Man” stars Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine, Looper), Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Horns), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). It is written and directed by Dan Kwan (The Pound Hole [TV short], Broomshakalaka [TV short]) and Daniel Scheinert (Trust [Short], I’m Nostalgic [Short]). Hank (Dano) is a lonely, shipwrecked man who decides to commit suicide after spending a long time on an island alone. His plans are soon changed, however, when he sees a dead man wash up. This man’s name is Manny (Radcliffe), and his eventual bond with Hank will lead them on an adventure like no other.
It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been waiting for this moment for several months now, and tonight is the night: I have seen “Swiss Army Man,” quite literally the most original release to come of 2016 (that I have seen). Some of you may not know what this is; some of you might. Either way, it is a film worth watching…that is, if you are into magical farts, “Jurassic Park” tunes, and a boner that can guide your main characters home. Hold on…what? You may be wondering what kind of wacky piece this is. Well, I’d like to think of it as part of a series of films that are so bizarre, so incredibly insane that they are enjoyable, beloved, and awesome. So far, that genre consists of two releases: “Gentlemen Broncos” and “Seven Psychopaths.” I thought that I have seen it all. Those two movies were weird. So much so that I had to think on why someone would make them. I never thought that anything could top them, especially “Gentlemen Broncos,” until I saw this. “Swiss Army Man” not only met my expectations, but it was also far more crazy than I could’ve imagined. Many things happened on the screen during this showing. Many things that were so ludicrous that one could not help but laugh. My first instinct was to make sense of it all. I mean, I had to, in order to keep my sanity. But, once I found out that this release had a different agenda, I just sat back and let the good times flow. And boy, were they good! This film is nothing like I have ever seen. It’s unique, original, and different. It goes against all that is safe and secure in this year of sequels, superhero movies, and reboots, and that is what I find to be the best part about it. I have been dying for an experience unlike no other, and I received that with “Swiss Army Man.” The story was odd, but fun, the acting was stellar, and the visual effects blended well with the terrific cinematography. Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe had fantastic chemistry in this as a lonely man and a dead guy come to life. It’s what kept me captivated, besides the fact that this is completely silly. It’s hard to make sense of what this movie is, and you can only imagine how difficult it is to put into words. Looking at the plot, there’s a theme to take from this. Paul Dano not only goes on a physical journey, but also one of self-discovery. He learns about himself and how his life sucks. Of course, much of this is hidden in fart humor and Manny’s array of other superpowers, but it is what makes the adventure all the more fun! I had a blast in watching this. I laughed, raised an eyebrow, and rolled my eyes throughout its entirety for it is a messed up feature. The common moviegoer won’t understand for it takes an acquired taste, and I feel sorry for them, for this is something special. Those who don’t agree with me may find me insane, but there are plenty of things to love about this film. I feel that there is a lot of heart that went into this production, and the fact that it blew my mind at almost every turn is an astonishing feat. Plus, the soundtrack is off the hook! Never would I have had as much appreciation for “Jurassic Park” as I do now. I loved watching this and was glad to have my expectations met, but I will say that it has issues (the normal person would agree wholeheartedly). For one, there are parts that can drag. Once we reach out of the humor, this story finds trouble in finding footing. It can get uncomfortable really fast, and once the laughter subsides I often wanted to jump back into the comedy. Not that it’s “seriousness” wasn’t engaging. When they reached for their theme, they did a good job. There were aspects that I could pick apart with these characters’ dilemma, mainly Hank’s. What made this script spectacular was the fact that it asked the viewer questions instead of spoon-feeding them the plot. I was thrown for a loop, having to make sense of this myself, and at times I could. This leads me to my second con: the ending. Just when I thought that I had this thing figured out (and it got pretty dark and twisted), the writers threw a curveball at me. This movie ended in such a loony way that, even though I laughed, it plunged me further into the darkness. Kudos to the writers for making it unpredictable at the end, but I was a bit mad. Finally, my last problem would be simple nitpicks or things I didn’t like. For example, Hank smeared some dirt (or crap) on a Bible. That stuff doesn’t fly well for me. In the end, this film is something only a viewer with a certain taste can enjoy. It’s not for everyone, but if you enjoyed “Gentlemen Broncos,” then you will love this. I sure did, and I’m proud to have seen it. Thank you “Swiss Army Man” for the unforgettable adventure! FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: