Swiss Army Man

This film cropped up on a lot of my friends favourites from 2016, so I belatedly got around to watching it. I get why they liked it, but I loathed it. It’s one of those movies. Plot wise it centres on hopeless castaway Paul Dano discovering the corpse of Daniel Radcliffe. The corpse becomes a tool and a friend as Dano begins his journey back to civilisation. It’s a one gag movie – Harry Potter is dead, but look, he’s got an erection!

I was reminded of my one attempt to write surreal comedy when I was about 14. I think it featured a scene where someone in a jungle comes across a walking dishwasher that shows Coronation Street. I thought it was so off the wall it would wow everyone with my zany connections. I showed it to my elder brother. He read it quickly, didn’t laugh, and passed it back to me with a deadpan expression. “It’s trying too hard,” was his damning, succinct and correct verdict. Watching Dano surf on the permanently flatulent corpse of Radcliffe I became my older brother. Really trying too hard. Some of my friends found meaning and emotion in the redemptive journey, but I’d long lost patience with it by then.

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