It's juvenile. It's shocking. It's innovative. It's moving. It's gross. Well, whatever you think of the concept of Swiss Army Man, a new film starring Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano, the fact is, it's getting tons of headlines after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday night. And those headlines are priceless. According to Variety, "a continuous stream of audience members kept standing up and bolting for the door throughout the film." Of course, that's not typically good news at a festival, particularly since some of those audience members were there as prospective buyers for the film's distribution rights. But those silly headlines were followed up by largely positive reviews. That means this divisive film about a suicidal man (Dano) on a deserted island who rides back to civilization on a corpse (Radcliffe) powered by flatulence (with an erect penis that eventually serves as a compass) stands a good chance of reaching its target audience one day.
"Paradoxically, the film’s plot sounds worse — way worse — than it is when described secondhand," writes Hollywood Reporter reviewer Leslie Felperin. "It’s entirely to the directors’ and the two lead actors’ credit that what sounds like a bunch of over-extended body humor gags of the most juvenile variety evolve, by sheer repetitious attrition, into something bizarrely poetic and strangely touching." The Guardian's praise was similar: "It’s coarse and it’s stupid, but it is, thanks mostly the two good performances and some stylish use of music and editing, a little bit moving." "Look, Swiss Army Man is not going to be a crowd-pleaser," Wired's Angela Watercutter writes, calling the movie a "95-minute viral video" and yet, still praising it.
"I read it and it was crazy and mad, but there's so much going on that never did it just seem like it was just crazy and mad," Radcliffe told MTV News. "It was obvious from the start that there were so many interesting themes being explored." Interesting themes, but also, undeniably, nonstop fart jokes. The actors told MTV that real farts from the cast and crew were recorded to make the film. They also revealed that a prosthetic mold of Radcliffe's butt was made for some of the scenes in the ocean. "It was not dignified," he admitted of the process of making a butt mold. "But it was like, 'It's gonna be a great movie. It's gonna be a great movie.'"