Title: Swiss Army Man
MPAA Rating: R
Director: The Daniels
Starring: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Runtime: 1 hr 37 mins
What It Is: Hank (Dano) is stranded and close to death. As he contemplates ending it all a body washes ashore. This cadaver, who we later find out is named Manny (Radcliffe) has some special powers that might just help Hank and he get off of this island and possibly back home. Throughout their adventure to get home Hank discovers that those power will be just the thing that will help him home.
What We Think: This is one of 2016’s weirdest films. Having said that I also want to let it be known that this film is awesome! You’re never sure of what is going on, and that is perhaps the most delightful thing about it. With music written by Andy Hull (and in some cases his band Manchester Orchestra) this sets the tone for what we’re about to see. From Manny’s special powers to Hank’s worsening mental state our directors guide us through the whole kit and kaboodle of quirks. There’s some great dialogue in here and the whole subplot about wanting to “get home to “Sarah” is great.
Our Grade: B+, A funny plot and two directors who aren’t afraid to work with the gloves off is awesome to see. These guys don’t care about traditional shot composition, nor narrative structure. All they really care about is telling the story they want to tell. Even if that’s a weird piece of cinema that will take several watches to truly understand. Paul Dano continues a good run here. Dude is killing it with stuff like Ruby Sparks, Prisoners and last years Love and Mercy. Something similar can be said about Daniel Radcliffe who has recently been in some interesting projects like Imperium, What If, and Horns. I recommend this highly but caution audiences that I don’t think they’ll truly understand what’s going on.