A man stranded alone on a deserted island (Paul Dano) makes one last attempt at escape after an unusual dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) washes up on shore. The talking corpse provides the castaway with a number of unexpected tools, which he'll need if he wants to be reunited with his love (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). This surreal drama is the feature-film directorial debut of music-video filmmakers Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan.~Daniel Gelb
Swiss Army Man is an odd film. One should know that first and foremost. When seeing the quotes on the posters or other marketing material that claim, "you've never seen a movie like this," you should take that to heart. Sure, I get it, you've probably heard that countless times before, but if you continue to read such quotes you'll get reassurance that such hyperbole is accurate when discussing Swiss Army Man. It is in this wholly unique fashion that the film naturally finds its own identity, but also finds a way to convey what is essentially an existential crisis by our main character, Hank, played by Paul Dano. Of course, when the film opens and we meet Dano's character as he attempts to kill himself by hanging we don't know any of this. We assume, given the writings we glean on pieces of trash floating in the water, that Hank is the lone survivor of some type of sea-faring accident and that he has more or less reached his breaking point. It is as he readies himself to step off a cooler with the noose around his neck that he notices a body has washed ashore. Though this body belongs to Daniel Radcliffe it is clear the soul inside has long since gone on to greener pastures. For Hank though, this body he eventually deems Manny is his saving grace. It becomes apparent almost immediately that directors and screenwriters Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as Daniels) enter into Hank's personal reality and are insistent on not letting us out of such a world until they have made a clear statement on each individuals own necessary version of sanity. We all need a different kind of rational to deal with our different set of circumstances. When it comes to Hank we have a very fractured and uncomfortable human being who, as we discover more about him, comes to be this man that doesn't feel he meets the basic standards of normal that society requires. While Swiss Army Man may feel like and project to be an outlandish buddy movie of sorts between a man who at first glance likely belongs in an insane asylum and a corpse the movie certainly has bigger ideas in its head than the jokes that have made up much of the conversation around it.
This is the strangest film.. but if you like strange you’ll love this!! It’s highly quotable, very entertaining and full of dark humor. However, I watched this on Netflix and loved it enough to purchase it on DVD, through Best Buy. Before I even opened the DVD box I noticed it sounded like a rain stick. Clearly something was wrong so I had to return it as damaged. Bummer because I was looking forward to adding it to my library.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Nice to see Harry Potter Dead! Needed better score
I avoided this film in the theater due to a certain video website literally shoving this trailer down my throat for 2 weeks straight! Regardless I have a 180" screen with projector set up with 7.1 surrround and a Buttkicker transducer system. Paul Dana (HANK) is stranded and literally at the end of his rope. He finds dead harry potter and the roller coaster ride begins. Seriously though, I have to give props to Daniel Radcliffe as he plays an excellent corpse! The audio & Visual of the disk was great. The adventure was fun and the film was rather original. Technically I'd give this a 3.5 out of 5 but couldn't so I rounded up. I thing this film lacks with the score. The film had moments when a good score should have brought you to the precipice of tears of joy to laughter but without the sound being fantastic, it made the scene just OK> Imagine everytime Darth Vader walks in and you never had that "Dun, Dun, Da, Dun, Da, Da, Dun," Score... Yeah.. Lots of this movie felt like it was missing something.. A better score!
I didnt think i would like this film. Ten minutes in i didnt want to watch anymore. Its a bizarre premise, a swiss army man, literally. But the odds are with this gem of a film. Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe give possibly their greatest performances to date and have great chemistry together and without it the film would have absolutely fallen flat. This is not a film for everyone but it was, for me, worth the watch and purchase. For the Daniels going from music videos to their first feature film, originality may be their specialty and like Anton Ego said, 'A great artist(s) can come from anywhere'. Bravo you two, bravo! 4.5 out of 5
To me, the movie started off strong, but started to stray off the path in the middle. It's still a fun watch as it did pick back up. If flatulence isn't your thing, then stay away. If not, be sure to give it a watch/buy for the originality alone.
This is not a slapstick style comedy where the corpse just flops aound like a dead fish. Daniel Radcliffe does an outstanding job and watching him transform from a flatulent lump back into a being that is "alive" is just fascinating. I felt myself immediately pulled into the bizarre world of these two characters, as they discussed the philosophy of life and death. Very intelligent, witty and surreal...highly recommended for those who like dark comedies that are both engaging and intelligent. Outstanding bluray quality as well...enjoy!
When you're forced to sit through as many cookie cutter entertainments as many of us reviewers do, something like Swiss Army Man becomes appealing simply because it's so different. That said, this film is obviously not going to be for everybody, and my hunch is even those who, like I did, establish a certain genial relationship with the material may not be especially won over once everything is said and done (and/or farted). Dano and Radcliffe are both amazing, and the film's very peculiarity will be an automatic draw for some, but whether Swiss Army Man actually has anything to say is questionable. Technical merits are very strong, and with caveats noted, Swiss Army Man comes Recommended.