This movie is umm… unique. In a world of constant sequels, adaptations and reboots, not often does an original and weird idea shine in the limelight even if it glimmers only briefly. Swiss Army Man is the story of one lonely man and the farting, multipurpose tool corpse he befriends.
To elaborate (as it sorely needs explaining) directing duo ‘The Daniels’, who are known for their outrageous music videos, have produced their first feature film, which stars two other Dan’s in Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe.
The story is of a twenty-something man marooned on an island, lonely and depressed he decides to take his own life when a body washes up on the shore nearby; however the dead person suddenly shows signs of life, he coughs, splutters, speaks and farts. Soon he learns more about this magical body, that is has the ability to be used like a Swiss army knife; lighting fires, shooting animals and a genitalia compass that points in the direction they want to go plus a mix of other random and weird stuff that provides humorous moments.
Sounds like total whimsy and it is – but these two forge a friendship with a hearty underlying tone of what it means to be human. The flatulence and slapstick comedy all play a role in the semi-serious tone of the actual plot to remind the audience although it is a light film; you always have to have a message.
The acting is brilliant, and the direction even more so, its exciting and inspiring to see two young people making a movie that sheds all the traditional ideas of storytelling whilst still ticking the boxes of expected tropes and flow. There are a few ‘WTF’ moments, which you can take either way, depending on your type of film, as this is definitely in the ‘indie’ genre and may not suit the more mature filmgoer.
However, it garnered great reviews and accolades at the Sundance Film Festival, which is always a very reliable measure of success, and at the very least could usher in the Daniels to the mainstream, where their original style and quirky visual effects can be promoted and praised.