R-Rated Fantasy Comedy On Max Is The Most Original Film In Years

By Robert Scucci | Updated

  • A Harry Potter actor stars in the most original fantasy film of modern times.
  • Swiss Army Man is streaming on Max.
  • The film stars Paul Dano as Hank Thompson and Daniel Radcliffe as a corpse.
  • Swiss Army Man will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Daniel Radcliffe has come a long way since he won over our hearts and minds with the Harry Potter films when he was just a child on the verge of adolescence. As an adult, Radcliffe has certainly expanded his resume with parody films like Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, horror films like The Woman in Black, and one of the most bizarre fantasy films you’ll ever see in your life: Swiss Army Man. Described as a “fart drama” by Radcliffe himself during the film’s Sundance premiere in 2016, Swiss Army Man will surprisingly tug at your heartstrings and make you feel a range of emotions that will make you question what it means to be human.

Swiss Army Man Is A Strange Movie

Daniel Radcliffe

Swiss Army Man wastes no time establishing its principal characters, and we are introduced to Hank Thompson (Paul Dano). Hank is a young man on the verge of suicide who’s hopelessly stranded on a deserted island. We don’t know how long he’s been living alone on the island, but Swiss Army Man likes to toy with your perception of time and reality, so it’s best left to the viewer’s imagination.

Daniel Radcliffe Went From Harry Potter To A Corpse

When a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) washes up on the beach, Hank quickly tries to resuscitate him but to no avail. Instead of snapping back to life, the dead body lets out a series of flatulent tones before rolling back into the ocean. But Swiss Army Man kicks into high gear when Hank realizes that the corpse’s emissions push its body forward like a boat engine.

The Importance Of Farts

Riding the corpse like a small motorboat, Hank travels across the ocean and reaches a mainland that’s still far removed from civilization. When he sets up camp, Hank affectionately names the life-saving corpse Manny, and starts talking to him to pass the time. While Hank wonders what his next move will be, Swiss Army Man shows its namesake, as Manny, like a Swiss Army Knife, proves to be quite useful in the wilderness through his various grotesque practical applications as a multi-purpose tool.

The Soundtrack Includes Farts

As Swiss Army Man progresses, Hank forms an unbreakable bond with Manny, who at this point has started talking back to his living counterpart, wondering what it means to be human. As Hank educates Manny on the finer points of life, love, and humanity, it’s not quite clear whether Hank is hallucinating the entire adventure or if Manny possesses magical powers. Through several surprisingly heartfelt montage sequences fueled by various bodily functions and a film score comprised of otherworldly multi-layered vocal harmonies draped over a musical backdrop of cacophonous flatulence, you can’t help but feel a sense of pride and triumph as everything plays out on-screen.

Heartfelt And Funny

As absurd as Swiss Army Man sounds, what makes it work so well is that Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe somehow manage to play it straight. You can’t help but laugh when you consider how many outtakes there must have been while acting out a somewhat serious survival premise that relies so heavily on slap-stick toilet humor.

Fans And Critics Embraced The Absurdity

Surprisingly enough, critics and audiences alike gave Swiss Army Man consistent reviews, and the film garnered a 73 percent critical score against an audience score of 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite its inherent ridiculousness, viewers pointed out that Swiss Army Man leaned so hard into its own absurdity that the more emotional through lines juxtaposed throughout actually made for a disarmingly emotional experience.

A Surrel Wild Trip

But you’ll have to see Swiss Army Man to believe anything we’re saying. At its heart, this surreal fantasy flick is a sample size of one, as no other movie like it has ever been made. If you want to see Daniel Radcliffe truly come to life, then you need to stream Swiss Army Man on Max right now.