Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Swiss Army Man (2016)

Movie Name/Year: Swiss Army Man (2016)
Tagline: We all need some body to lean on.
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Blackbird, Cold Iron Pictures, Tadmor
Producer: Miranda Bailey, Lawrence Inglee, Jim Kaufman, Todd King, Lauren Mann, Amanda Marshall, William Olsson, Eyal Rimmon, Gideon Tadmor, Jonathan Wang
Director: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Writer: Daniel Scheinert, Dan Kwan
Actors: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Antonia Ribero, Timothy Eulich, Richard Gross, Marika Casteel, Andy Hull, Aaron Marshall, Shane Carruth, Jessica Harbeck

Blurb from Netflix: A washed-up corpse with surprising abilities gives a hopeless man stranded in the wilderness someone to talk to -- and a newfound reason to live.

Selina’s Point of View:
I can say one thing for a fact. Swiss Army Man is definitely a movie that exists. Someone wrote and directed it. People sat around a table reading lines from the script. A team was hired to work on it. It… definitely exists.

Other than that, I’m fucking baffled. I have no god-damn clue what I just watched.

It was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.

I can’t fault anyone involved in this film’s creation – because it wasn’t bad. It didn’t take itself too seriously, but didn’t present the idea as a joke. The script was cringe-y, but on purpose. The actors worked well together, even though one of them was playing a dead man.

The best I can say is that Swiss Army Man was the perfect storm of weirdness going right.

It’s not going to be for everyone. It was just barely on the edge of what I would consider ‘for me.’ Even then I spent the majority of the film with one question in mind: ‘Do these people have any clue how bad a floater smells?’

Clearly, you have to suspend a ton of disbelief – but if you can manage it… it might be worth a shot.

I have some theories about the story and whatnot, but it’s all spoilery, so I can’t get into it. Watch for yourself and see if you develop your own.

Cat’s Point of View:
I’m not even sure what I just watched. Just saying.

No, seriously. What the bloody hell was that?

As I try to wrap my brain around the bizarre narrative of Swiss Army Man; it dawns on me that in back-to-back years, Daniel Radcliffe (The Woman in Black, Trainwreck, Miracle Workers) appeared in two distinctly different wilderness survival movies. Where Jungle (2017) was an entirely serious endeavor with some really harrowing life or death situations, this movie was the complete opposite. It was a drama-tinged heaping helping of cringe with a side of comedy.

Radcliffe has made some quirky role choices in effort to keep himself from being pigeonholed as Harry Potter. This has to be the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. I think it may top that play he was in that involved nudity and wearing a horse-head. Though, it’s reported that Radcliffe has claimed the movie was fun to make, so at least there’s that.

On the other side of the coin, Paul Dano (Knight and Day, 12 Years a Slave, Okja) seems to lend himself well to savant-like characters teetering on the edge of sanity or normality.

One thing’s for sure – this movie decidedly earned its R rating. Toilet humor is just the least of it.

I’m left bewildered in the wake of the final scene. My morbid curiosity has me wondering what happens next. I don’t know that I could endure much more of that, though.

While I wouldn’t steer anyone away from this film specifically, I’d definitely caution any looking to give it a chance to have an open mind and just expect the absolute unexpected. Maybe don’t watch after a large meal or while eating, either.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 70%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 72%
Metascore – 64/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.2/10
IMDB Score – 7.0/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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