Swiss Army Man (2016) [4.25/5]

WE ALL NEED SOME BODY TO LEAN ON.

Alone on a tiny deserted island, Hank has given up all hope of ever making it home again. But one day everything changes when a dead body washes ashore, and he soon realizes it may be his last opportunity to escape certain death. Armed with his new “friend” and an unusual bag of tricks, the duo go on an epic surreal adventure to bring Hank back to the woman of his dreams.

Subverts the entire notion of "low brow" by inherently transforming what is considered low brow and crude into something high brow and clever, even profound. Maybe not my absolute favorite film of the year but quite possibly the most creative and imaginative film of '16. Also taps into the subconscious of its protagonist in such a hilarious and fantastical way that I can guarantee you've never seen a character study done even remotely in this fashion. And my god, that score; I love Manchester Orchestra (as well as pretty much any project that has ever involved Andy Hull) and my love for them now extends even further.

-Eli Hayes


Hmmm... I don't even know where to start. What a strange story. One of the weirdest films I've ever watched. I'm not quite too sure how I feel. It wasn't bad. It was shot great, sound design and music was amazing, the acting phenomenal, it was just completely peculiar. Unique might be the best description. Directed by Daniels, a combination between Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (directors behind the DJ Snake and Lil Jon Turn Down For What music video). It also starred Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. I can definitely say that this movie has a lot of 'D' in it. It had my emotions going from sympathetic to hilarious to down right disgusting and awkward. I'm not too much a fan of farts, more so grossed out by them, and the Swiss Army Man is full of farts. It was also full of Jurassic Park theme-song references, which is by far one of the greatest and most classic cinema scores of all time (up there with Halloween).

Some of the locations reminded me completely of the San Francisco Bay Area, and I was not surprised to see 'SF' in the credits at the end confirming my location assumptions. I was also caught in an eye-brow-raise when I saw a 'Special Thanks' shout-out to the notorious Quentin Tarantino, who read an early version of the script and discussed the project with Daniels, pitching ideas and advice. It is also distributed by one of my favorite distribution companies - A24. They've put out some super fantastic films (Spring Breakers to Tusk, Son Of A Gun to Ex Machina, The Witch to Green Room, etc). A24 definitely has style. So does the one of a kind Swiss Army Man, which you should go see.

-Rocco Bovo

 

***SPOILER ALERT***

 

The ending is by far the greatest. After you come to the conclusion that Hank is completely insane or schizophrenic, all the other characters suddenly witness the reality of Manny's powers and are blown away as his farts blast him across the top of the ocean like a godamn jet ski! The magic was real! Wow...