Swiss Army Man

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Swiss Army Man

Yes, this is the movie where Daniel Radcliffe plays a magic farting corpse. But aside from that, this is a solidly traditional indie film in which a despairing hipster (Paul Dano) adrift in an uncaring world learns to open his heart and feel again. Usually what propels these guys out of their shell is a magic pixie dream girl: here it’s a magic farting corpse.

The story itself is a two-hander: Hank (Dano) is stranded on an island and is about to kill himself when a corpse (Radcliffe) is washed ashore. Turns out the corpse has farts so powerful he can be ridden to shore like a jetski. Now stranded in a deserted but trash-filled forest, the corpse proves useful in all manner of ways, even as it slowly returns to some kind of talkative half-life. Both Dano and Radcliffe play it dead serious, which only makes it funnier, while the gorgeous visuals (Hank can make almost anything out of trash) give it a fantastical edge familiar to twee indie films. But by having a farting corpse at its core, it ruthlessly mocks pandering indie films even as it follows their blueprint – until an ending that lays it all bare.

Reviewed by Anthony Morris