Over the decade he spent headlining the Harry Potter movies, Daniel Radcliffe proved himself capable of delivering a classic cinematic hero. Thanks to the fortitude and integrity he exemplified as the plucky young wizard, we’d come to expect any Radcliffe role to fall in line with that shimmering brand of old school heroism (yes, even in Horns). We do not, on the other hand, expect said heroism to in any way involve supernaturally inclined erections. But the world is full of surprises.
The first red band trailer for the upcoming odd ball comedy/survival story/existential tome Swiss Army Man lends more attention to Daniel Radcliffe’s erect genitalia than one might have expected upon coming to the video blind. One might also be surprised to realize that our own Mr. Potter’s genitalia serves not only as a conduit to the sustenance of his family line but also, apparently, as an effective compass. Not only that, his flatulence appear to be particularly good for marine transport. It gets weirder: Radcliffe’s character in Swiss Army Man, though riddled with biological skills like those listed, is dead.
Again, all this might seem jarring if you’re coming to the trailer without prior knowledge of Swiss Army Man, costarring Radcliffe and Paul Dano as two guys stranded on a desert island (one dead, one living), and written and directed by feature newbies Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. But if you’d kept your ear to the Sundance Film Festival news circuit, you might have been duly prepared for something a bit hard to swallow. The film’s premiere at the fest was so polarizing as to provoke hordes of walk-outs; that said, a good handful of critics (including our own Dan Casey) appreciated the askew sensibilities of the funny and strange dramedy. We even listed it as one of the 15 movies you absolutely have to see this summer:[brightcove video_id=”4852944962001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”2bfa565b-5412-4cfd-9211-6269880b8a5e”]
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better trait a movie can embody—especially in this day and age of studio system homogeny—than genuine weirdness. I haven’t seen a film that looks quite like Swiss Army Man (appropriately handled by the off-kilter kingpins at A24), and I’m looking forward to however much it aims to jostle me.