Review: Swiss Army Man (2016)

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“If my best friend hides his farts from me then what else is he hiding from me, and why does that make me feel so alone?”
– Manny

SYNOPSIS: A hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8I heard so much about this movie when it came out. Heck, everyone did. It was all over the internet. There was a lot of talk. I was interested in checking this out because, well, I quite enjoy Radcliffe. He’s really good. The trailers did not look like my cup of tea (fart jokes, etc. are just not me), so I sort of discarded it. The reviews came back with  mad love for it, which I did not expect. It seemed like the type of movie you either loved or hated. Now I just had to watch it, to see where I would fall on the spectrum. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it, totally unexpectedly.

It opened with a fart joke. Seriously. It did. I rolled my eyes. Goodness, how on Earth was I going to make it through this whole thing? My husband looked at me curiously – me, watching something like this? What’s happening? But then the movie starts building, and against my better judgment, I was roped in. There was so much going on. I thought Hank had lost his marbles. What was with Radcliffe? Good Lord, the corpse is mumbling!

Before I knew it, I was actually having quite a few good laughs, and I was genuinely being engaged by the story. Surprisingly, Swiss Army Man actually has heart at the core of the story, and it works. The movie is quirky and is accompanied by a great score and absolutely awesome performances from both Radcliffe and Dano (the movie was essentially carried by just the two of them). The two worked together and came across as the greatest friends. I was impressed. Who knew? I certainly didn’t expect it from this movie. It contains a lot of themes, and they are executed rather beautifully. The movie is also shot really well, and looks really good. The scenes flow together seamlessly, and the pacing works, too. Never bland, never boring.

There was plenty awkward humour, humour that I normally absolutely cannot stand, but for some absurd reason, it suited the film. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely more fart/penis jokes than absolutely necessary, but there is actually more to this than that, and something you need to overlook to get to the rest of it. Swiss Army Man is, without a doubt, a bizarre watching experience, but one I certainly enjoyed more than I expected. It had heart, it had humour, it had depth, it made you laugh and it made you sad. I think it balanced a lot of themes incredibly well. I don’t know, this one just worked, in all its weirdness, and I thought it well worth my time.

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15 thoughts on “Review: Swiss Army Man (2016)

  1. Cindy Bruchman says:

    Great review, Zoe. I had a fun time watching this one. I think you have to be in the right frame of mind. If you can’t buy it is surrealism then it’s just nonsensical. I loved Dana (again) and enjoyed Radcliffe’s performances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Yeah the compass boner was just too much for me, but when I overlooked the super crude humour, the story was really good, and their friendship was pretty awesome.

      Like

  2. Tom says:

    I wanted to give this movie a hug. This was such a wonderful experience for me, I was especially impressed with the way they used infantile/potty humor in a way that excavated deeper into the characters — like, there was something intimate about the conversations these guys had, and even though yeah there was a LOT of ppphhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh-ing going on, the surrealistic, deeply personal material kind of called for it. Although I don’t know if I’m justifying the farting itself or the movie for being able to use stuff like that to its advantage. And I also think this had one of Daniel Radcliffe’s greatest performances ever. The Corpse was something else man.

    Nice review of a really, really odd movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Tom! I know you are a huge fan of this one hahaha. Yeah, this definitely impressed me more than I was expecting. I am quite a fan of Radcliffe in anything outside Potter, and Dano is very good. They worked well together, and though I had to pointedly ignore some of the humour, most of it I could overlook, and it just fit in with the type of film. Worth the watch for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Natasha says:

    Great review friend. Pretty concurrent with what people are saying. Strange and unique. It is so rare these days to experience original ideas. Daniel Radcliffe is also making a good impression with his continuing work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Radcliffe is worth keeping an eye on. I would just love to hear your opinion on this one. I can see why it is such a divisive film, but I thought it was good.

      Like

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