Hypothetical Netflix Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Let me tell you what kinda movie Swiss Army Man is. Here’s the first scene: Paul Dano, who I didn’t know I knew till I checked him out (He was in Prisoners and Little Miss Sunshine), he’s stuck on this island and he’s trying to hang himself. The cord he’s using breaks, and he see Harry Potter obviously dead on the beach. Paul Dano gives him CPR to see if he’s alive. Harry Potter starts farting.
Paul Dano gets that he’s dead and goes back to hanging himself. Harry Potter keeps farting. He’s got the rope around his neck. Harry Potter farts so violently that he’s now in the ocean. Paul Dano turns into a one man loop track and he starts singing. Harry Farter gets further out into the water. Something clicks in Paul Dano’s head. His music gets happier. He takes the rope off from around his neck and steps onto the sand. He runs out to Harry, crying out “Wait for me!” Joyous music plays as he throws his rope around Daniel Radcliffe’s neck and rides him like a jet ski out into open water.
2016’s Swiss Army Man was nothing like I thought it was going to be and I knew all the above information and this: it’s ninety minutes of Paul Dano surviving in the wilderness aided by Harry Potter’s corpse. The plot of this movie unfolds so uniquely, to give anything more than what I’ve written would ruin the experience. This film was written and directed by the team of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. This is the pairs first feature length film and it is an odd one. It is surprisingly beautiful, weird, heart-warming, bleak, disturbing, haunting, tender, depraved, I could go on. Other than Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, this movie also features Mary Elizabeth Winstead (if you haven’t seen her in 10 Cloverfield Lane or Faults, do that after you watch this. Or maybe watch one of those before if this all sounds strange). She plays “the girl on Paul Dano’s phone”.
Have you ever heard of Bo Burnham? This is the type of movie Bo Burnham would make. It’s a roller coaster you don’t see coming and you just kinda got ride it out till it’s over and the impression that you’re left with is this strange sort of peace, like you don’t know how exactly you should feel, but you feel good. That’s Swiss Army Man.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character actually summed this movie up best with her ending line “What the fuck?”