Review: Swiss Army Man (2016)

SWISS ARMY MAN is like one of those weird one-off dreams. It questions humankind’s fear of death by allowing one of us to have a (admittedly skewed) relationship with a symbol of that fear. Hank (Paul Dano) loses it in the wilderness after a near-death experience, and contemplates ending it for real until a farty corpse washes up beside him. Said cadaver “Manny” (Daniel Radcliffe) becomes Hank’s survival tool (it’s amazing how many uses there can be for stored gas and rigor mortis) and his confidante as they both take a long, hard look at their tragic lives and deaths. It’s an odd one to take Cannes by storm, but the jarring tone, creative slapstick and feelgood way it looks at mortality certainly makes it one to recommend. Radcliffe’ sheer physical control is impressive and Dano proves once more to be one of the most underrated talents in Hollywood. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I challenge you to sit through it and not at least crack a smile. You might be bewildered, disgusted, unimpressed, but you will smile. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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