And The Oscar Goes To…The Farting Corpse

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Title: Swiss Army Man

Rating: 4 Stars

Well, I’m speechless. To sum up the plot, a man (Hank) apparently has somehow been stranded on a deserted island. He’s about to hang himself when he discovers a corpse washed up on the beach. Delighted with any semblance of human interaction, he runs to the corpse and tries to revive it. It responds with flatulence that grows in frequency and power that Hank can ride the corpse to a slightly better deserted island.

Over time, the corpse becomes the source of water (by drinking the copious amounts of spit that comes out of his mouth) and ultimately develops speech, as well as powers that allows Hank to build nearly anything. Once he develops the power of speech and gives himself a name (Manny), the two proceed to embark upon a discourse of life, relationships, and masturbation. It is obvious that Hank is not a happy man. He’s cut off from his father and his closest intimate relationship is to a woman that he surreptitiously takes a picture of on a bus.

It’s pretty clear that his whole relationship with the corpse is his way of working through this set of issues. He’s in need of a confidant or even just a friend that he can shoot the shit with and he latches onto the corpse as his vehicle. At least it’s not his embalmed mother. As the relationship matures, he morphs from a suicidal man to a caring man that tries to convince a corpse to live life.

The ending is surreal in the extreme. I’m still not exactly sure what happened.  That could very well be the point. Not all things have to end cleanly. Maybe the point is that the guy doesn’t always get the girl in the end but the farting corpse always gets to ride off into the sunset.

I have to give it credit. It is unlike any picture that I’ve even seen. This was a movie full of surprises, I was never bored, and a good rapport was established between Hank and Manny.

I really don’t see this movie spawning any sequels or franchises, although maybe I shouldn’t assume that. We’ll see how big the box office is before we slam that door shut.

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