Despite the fact that it did not only receive rave reviews, but also a lot of positive word of mouth – pretty much everyone I know who saw it before me sang its praises – I went into this movie extremely sceptical. The thing is: I can’t stand toilet humor, and farts especially are probably the unfunniest thing in the world that I can think of, next to Donald Trump winning the US presidency (oops). So even though everyone told me how great it is, I expected “Swiss Army Man” to be one of those movie who simply aren’t my kind of thing. Instead, it won me over in a matter of minutes.
Yes, I didn’t really laugh all that much about the farting in the beginning. However, the good thing is that – thankfully – that’s not even remotely what the movie is about. If it had been nothing but Daniel Radcliffe playing a corpse and farting for two hours, I would have gotten exactly the movie that I feared I would get. Instead, it turned out to be a wonderful, touching and life-affirming testament to humanity. Of course the premise is ridiculous, but it’s not silly for the sake of being silly, but in order to make a point. Which is that we need, and hunger for, some sort of connection with other human beings. To not be and feel alone. What’s even better is that “Swiss Army Man” doesn’t make this about romantic relationships (even though those are great too, obviously), but rather simple companionship. Hank is just looking for someone who understands him and who he can share his life, his hardship and his troubles with. And he finds this someone in – who would have guessed it? – a corpse, Manny, who wondrously provides him with exactly what he needs to stay alive. What follows is a heartwarming story about a loner who finally achieves some sort of connection with another human being – albeit a supposedly dead one. There were just as many scenes that had me laughing my ass off as there were moments which gave me goosebumps, and/or managed to really hit me emotionally. Superbly acted by both Dano and Radcliffe, with a rousing score by Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, and written and directed with great aplomb by Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, “Swiss Army Fan” is one of the most funny, touching and uplifting movies of the year.