Uniqueness an asset, not a gimmick, for the intriguing “Swiss Army Man”

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 at 10:39 PM
Uniqueness an asset, not a gimmick, for the intriguing “Swiss Army Man” by Gabriel Hypes

While watching this film, I found myself getting more nervous with each passing scene, not knowing how I was going to review a movie as insane as this one. It wasn’t until a few days of thinking about the movie that I realized my opinion of it. “Swiss Army Man” is the type of film you should go into not knowing what to expect.

The movie is a story about Hank (Paul Dano) being stranded on a deserted island. At the end of his wits and with no hope left, he decides it’s time to end his life. As he is hanging a rope around his neck, he notices a lifeless body (Daniel Radcliffe) washed up on the beach. Hank takes that as a sign and steps away from the rope to check out the dead body. While checking it out, he discovers the body is very flatulent. Using the gassy, dead body, Hank rides it like a jet ski until he washes up on the main shore. From there, Hank sort of resurrects the dead body who’s real name is Manny. Hank and Manny go on a mission to find civilization, all the while Hank teaching Manny how to be alive again.

If you made it through a description for a movie like that, then you should know that “Swiss Army Man” is one of the best films I’ve seen this year. The over-the-top wackiness of Manny being as useful as a swiss army knife — like using his arm as an axe to chop wood or his fingers being flint for fire — is coupled by these features just being a cover for an actual, real life issue.

Manny is weird. He doesn’t understand many things in life, but he knows what makes him happy and alive, even if other people see it as abnormal. Manny comes into Hank’s life when he feels alone and has to hide who he actually is. Manny turns out to be the part Hank’s been missing all his life and once Hank realized it, he begins to love Manny and refuses to leave his side, even as we reach our conclusion.

This movie might be too weird for a lot of people. If you look at what the film is truly about, the struggle to be normal and hide how you really feel, “Swiss Army Man” might be one of the most fun and loving movies in recent memory.

Gabriel Hypes is a staff writer for The Spectator. 

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