We all need some body to lean on
Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe make the oddest of odd couples in bizarre buddy comedy Swiss Army Man.
Dano plays a despairing desert island castaway and Radcliffe is the flatulent washed-ashore corpse who turns out to be his lifeline. Just how that happens is highly surreal – as you might expect from the feature film debut of off-the-wall music-video directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan (aka ‘the Daniels’).
Radcliffe’s body, dubbed Manny by Dano’s Hank, turns out to be a veritable multipurpose tool with all manner of strange functions. First, Hank rides Manny like a jet ski to get back to the mainland, propelled by his post-mortem gas. Later, Manny’s penis proves a divining rod that points the way back to civilisation. And he provides many other, equally weird uses in between.
This yields opportunities galore for darkly funny physical comedy – brilliantly performed by Radcliffe, it has to be said. But as Manny regains the power of speech, the pair’s friendship offers a surprising undercurrent of existential melancholy, too.
Certificate 15. Runtime 94 mins. Directors Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan
Swiss Army Man on Blu-ray and DVD from Lionsgate UK.