Swiss Army Man Blu-ray Review
AKA Death-fart jet-ski
This darkly comic variation on the Cast Away theme sees Paul Dano innovatively violating Daniel Radcliffe's corpse in a bid for survival.Lost on a tiny island in the middle of nowhere, Dano's Hank is ready to give up on life when he happens across a dead body that inadvertently gives him hope - and a lot more. Initially entertaining him, and then transporting him, Hank takes the flatulence-driven corpse on an island-hopping voyage of survival and escape, talking to himself - and it; trying to stave off insanity. It's a curious, quirky and unquestionably different story, which takes its crazy premise and runs with it, headless, into the jungle. Undoubtedly, you won't have seen anything like it before, but that's a blessing and a curse.The tone is odd; the darkly comic vibe leaves the piece game for just about anything - a fart-boat is just the start of things - and its arguably in its desperate quest to be just so damn odd that Swiss Army Man loses focus, and loses its audience along the way. It doesn't help that, despite Dano's committed performance and Radcliffe's suitably restrained flopping around, the film just doesn't have anything more to say beyond its surreal opening gambit. That may be enough for some, but the same people prepared to go along for this odd ride may well be the ones most disappointed when it ends.
Picture QualityLionsgate deliver Swiss Army Man to UK shores with a Region B-locked Blu-ray which looks largely impressive, providing plenty of fine detail and rich textures set against a vibrant backdrop peppered with vivid tones. The digitally-sourced video is promoted in 1080p/AVC-encoded High Definition, framed in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 widescreen.
The image from Lionsgate is largely impressive
Detail laps up the skin textures, weathered visages, mottled hair and ragged clothes, with the island(s) providing intricate trees and foliage. Clarity abounds, although the digital footage isn't without grain, a seeming stylistic choice that works for the most part, with a layer of added grain giving it a more suitably filmic texture which suits the piece. Black levels are strong, and whilst it isn't conventional demo material, it's generally a very good looking piece.
Sound QualityLionsgate serves up Swiss Army Man with an impressive Dolby Atmos track that is founded upon a strong Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core. The latter delivers strong components with power and precision, offering up clear and coherent dialogue across the frontal array, whilst the effects expand out across the surrounds and craft an immersive experience that is interspersed with... farts. There's some nominal LFE input, and plenty of directionality, and that's all just on the standard mix without Atmos enhancement.
The film has an immersive and decidedly flatulent Dolby Atmos soundtrack
ExtrasThis is far from a bare bones disc
There are a fair few extras leaving this far from a bare bones disc, headlined by an Audio Commentary from a selection of the filmmakers (although you kind of know what sort of commentary you're in for when one of them is a self-titled sound mixer / 'fartist'), as well as an hour long Q & A, a quarter-hour Behind the Scenes Featurette, a 3 minute look at making the dummy, and 9 minutes of Deleted Scenes.
Blu-ray VerdictIn its quest to be odd Swiss Army Man loses focus, and its audience.
At least the UK Blu-ray release is decent enough, with strong video and Dolby Atmos audio, and a pretty hefty selection of extra features, all of which makes this an easy must-have purchase for fans of the film. Although if you haven't already seen it, you might consider a rental first.
You can buy Swiss Army Man on Blu-ray here
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £12.99
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