Swiss Army Man (2016)
July 2, 2016 5:20 PM - Subscribe

A hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

The Daniels (makers of the music video for Turn Down For What) direct a movie starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe.
posted by idiopath (11 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This blew me away. I have a theory that the real theme of the movie is found in the fact that all of the human relationships in the movie are facilitated or mediated by the Internet, and the dead body becomes a metaphor for online identity and friendship. But I think I'd need to watch it again to really flesh it out.
posted by idiopath at 5:23 PM on July 2, 2016

My best friend saw it and loved it; she said it was a beautiful meditation on friendship in the guise of a giant fart joke.
posted by ChuraChura at 5:37 PM on July 2, 2016 [3 favorites]

mefi thread
posted by idiopath at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2016

Such a fantastic movie. The underwater breathing scene was so well done.

I think my favorite gag was the flamethrower bit, it just progresses so logically. Farting corpse + fire starting fingers = instant flamethrower.
posted by books for weapons at 2:01 PM on July 3, 2016

Wow, what a fantastic, hilarious, strange and touching film. So sweet and earnest, so blunt and silly, so very queer in all senses of the word. At first I thought it would be a typical bromance, if goofier, with lots of pining over girls who don't have any real presence or lines, but it takes some turns that are wonderful and very surprising (but still with women almost completely absent).


My friend and I both thought the ending kind of broke the film's own odd logic, and was generally out of step with the rest of it, as if the writers knew they had to end it but wanted everything both ways, or all the ways at once, or something.


Finding out the shocker that our hero was basically an extremely creepy stalker living in the woods near the object of his desire's house, and then watching his humiliation and arrest was a *very* dark turn that really brought me up short after all the whimsy and farting and sexuality-questioning and that marvelous, literally life-giving underwater kiss. I know that was the intent, and it sure as hell worked but I'm not sure the directors knew where to go next after that. It's clear they didn't want to leave audiences on such a down note, but the tacked-on feel-good moment of the other folks seeing Manny fart over the ocean just made me wish they'd written a very different final act.

Still, it's a treasure of a movie, unexpected and delightful and deeply poignant and very, very odd and everyone should go see it five times so we get more movies like it.
posted by mediareport at 8:23 PM on July 3, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm still trying to process all my feelings regarding this film. First feeling is that I'm sad for my husband that we had to pee during the underwater scene because it was so, so beautiful. I can't decide how I feel about the ending. Or the beginning, frankly, due to the ending. I think I liked it. I certainly enjoyed it. I'm mostly glad it got made and had a large enough distribution that it came to my local theater.
posted by MaritaCov at 6:02 AM on July 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Saw it this morning and I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about the film. I really, really liked it all up until they make it back to civilization. I guess I really want it to be a story about how a lonely introvert geek-type character discovers his inner self and learns to come out of his shell. I thought Manny was really just going to be a figment of his imagination (or at least him being alive would be), kinda a good version of Tyler Durden, but the ending surely killed that interpretation.

I hadn't really thought of Hank being a creepy stalker living in the woods, but it does explain a bunch of the film that I willfully suspended disbelief for (e.g., all the trash in the woods, he complex structures built vs why wouldn't he just keep moving, etc). Unfortunately (for me) that explanation twists the movie in a way I'm not sure I like or am comfortable with. I might just need a couple more viewings. But like I said, I'm still trying to figure out how I feel and understand what happened. I'm really hoping some more folks stop by to discuss here.
posted by noneuclidean at 5:55 PM on July 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Finding out the shocker that our hero was basically an extremely creepy stalker living in the woods near the object of his desire's house, and then watching his humiliation and arrest was a *very* dark turn that really brought me up short

This reframed the whole movie for me, but TBH I wasn't in love with it all as others were. There were moments that broke the whimsy and magic for me from near the beginning, starting with the farting. I get it that the message was that farting is natural and only weird because people try so hard to be polite, but it felt like the movie was built around fart jokes, and then the directional erection didn't help the feeling that this all started as teenage boy jokes that The Daniels tried to dress up as Serious Topics For Discussion.

And Hank's comment on women in porn didn't help make it feel any better. In fact, that was the warning that he and/or the movie was more about a sad boy trying to deal with lust and longing for women as fantasy objects, not people to know.
You know, it used to be... really hard to come by a magazine like that when I was a kid. I'd have to go digging under the bushes by the freeway and sneak into my dad's stash. I mean, before the Internet, every girl was a lot more special. I bet you probably did the same thing, make up little love stories for each of them.
You mean, every naked girl in a porn mag was more special.

Paul Dano was a convincing lonely man who opted to pretend he was stranded on a deserted island instead of living in the woods behind the home of the woman who he saw on the bus and then stalked, and Daniel Radcliffe was fun as a magical corpse pal/tool, but overall a lackluster movie, hidden behind the wacky surface treatment.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:31 PM on February 2, 2017 [2 favorites]

This is fucking bananas.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:16 PM on March 31, 2022

Masterfully made, but so much less than the sum of its parts.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:27 PM on April 1, 2022

This is great, and a kind study of mental health.

Incredible performance by Dano, and Radcliffe's physical acting bodes good things for him and us for decades to come.
posted by porpoise at 8:46 PM on June 4, 2022

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