Swiss Army Man [2016] ★★½

 swa_86_online“Swiss Army Man” is unlike any other movie you will see this year. It is, at once, grandiose and gimmicky. While I was less taken with the film at its purposeless conclusion than I was midway through, it still offered me a unique moviegoing experience. Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who refer to themselves as “Daniels”, the movie opens with Paul Dano alone on a deserted island. Then Daniel Radcliffe shows up as Manny, a dead corpse with farting abilities. That’s right, “Swiss Army Man” is basically about Paul Dano befriending a dead corpse for an entire movie. Does it work? Not always. But one thing’s for sure: once you get used to the idea, you become engaged with the characters and their stories. It’s obvious that the Daniels had a blast experimenting with that idea, but I wish the overall result was more memorable. I’m still willing to recommend the film, because there’s so much novelty and invention in it, and because both actors are simply a joy to watch.

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