Screened as part of NZIFF 2016
Gonzo directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan describe Swiss Army Man as a film about a suicidal man who has to convince a dead body that life’s worth living. Others have said it’s a fusion of Cast Away and Weekend at Bernies as directed by Michel Gondry. The fact the duo, collectively known as Daniels, have managed to turn that morbid premise into something so outrageously fun and deeply affecting is a testament to their wild inventiveness.
Paul Dano (Love & Mercy) plays Hank, a man stranded alone on a deserted island. When he’s about to top himself from sheer boredom, the corpse of Harry Potter himself washes up ashore. It’s not too long before Hank realises that the corpse’s extreme flatulence transforms him into a human jet-ski, sending the pair off to uncharted areas. Daniel Radcliffe plays Manny, the dead body that becomes Dano’s multi-purpose tool in discovering the joys of life; together they provide viewers with the most bonkers buddy movie of all time.
Many art-lobsters who attended its Sundance premiere walked out after some hilarious, puerile moments, only to miss out on an endearing man-love tale that blossoms in some very strange and funny ways. — AT