Front Row at the Movies
“Swiss Army Man”
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
So it’s come to this: Following eight Harry Potter movies, Daniel Radcliffe gives us a remake of “Weekend at Bernie’s.”
Well, not quite.
The main similarity is that throughout the movie “Swiss Army Man” – now showing at Tropic Cinema – Radcliff plays a dead character.
It starts off with Hank (Paul Dano) trying to commit suicide because he’s despondent over being stranded on a desert island. But just then a corpse washes up on the beach (yep, it’s Radcliffe). Somewhat like Robinson Crusoe with his man Friday, or Tom Hanks with his volleyball Wilson, our boy Hank adopts the corpse as his companion and dubs him Manny.
After that, we’re treated to a surreal story in which Manny seems sometimes alive, sometimes not. A flatulent corpse, Hank eventually escapes the island on Manny’s back, like riding a human jet ski, powered by the corpse’s constant farting.
And there’s more to come.
However, by the end of “Swiss Army Man” you won’t be exactly sure what you’ve witnessed. Reality and fantasy blend in a dream-like pastiche. Think of it as an art house “Weekend at Bernie’s.”
Going from a boy wizard to playing a flatulent corpse is an interesting career move. But having become wealthy from all those “Harry Potter” blockbusters, Daniel Radcliffe can afford to take any darn role he chooses – especially those that go far to undo any magical typecasting.