Sartre’s been reincarnated and come back as the film writing and directing duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinhert. Swiss Army Man reminded me a lot of the play No Exit in that I kept thinking, when in the hell are we getting out of the woods? I suggested the film to my mom and her beau for a fun family night, knowing Paul Dano never fails, expecting a quirky more high brow Weekend at Bernie’s…definitely not the outcome.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie’s not horrible and actually won the directing prize and was nominated for the Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Fest. Paul Dano can’t do anything wrong in my eyes. He brings such passion and open spirit to each role that I’m willing to take the ride. The bromance reminded me of The Fisher King, but with unfortunately far less impact than Bridges and Williams.
On the other hand, I’ve been to Gordy Hoffman’s inspirational Blue Cat Screenwriting Workshops and could hear his voice going, “Wait, we’re a minute 9, still in a cave and the corpse is just laying there?” The fundamental problem with movies these days is lack of editing, plain and simple. In writing we’re taught to ‘kill your darlings’, meaning cut, excise, tighten. This film was bloated which actually is the perfect analogy to end on as I picture Daniel Radcliffe’s body washed up on shore.
Swiss Army Men, prepare for darkness. There is no exit.