Swiss Army Man (R)

For the second time in my movie going history, I had to raise myself up out of my chair and walk out of a movie. This time I could only stand 10 very short (or very long, depending on how you look at it) and very painful minutes of Swiss Army Man.  I was at the AMC Empire 25 on 42nd Street and the manager tried to give me a hard time about a refund.  I know that the policy at most theaters is that a viewer has 20 minutes of viewing time in which to decide whether they want a refund.  If you watch any more than 20 minutes, it is likened to the “steak” scenario, where you cannot get a refund if you ate the steak – meaning you cannot watch a crappy movie until the end and then request a refund.  So, after 10 excruciating minutes watching  Swiss Army Man (starring Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe), I made a beeline to customer service.  The manager tells me the 20 minute window begins at the start time printed on the movie ticket and I am too late.  How can that be when there are 20 minutes of previews?  How can I say whether I want to walk out and be refunded if I have yet to lay eyes on scene one of the movie?  In the end, I got my refund and more.

I thought this movie had possibilities as the synopsis immediately conjured up images of a mashup between Weekend at Bernies (1989) and Castaway (2000), with Paul Dano’s character (I’m not even going to waste time looking up character’s names) stranded on a deserted island for so long he is ready to commit suicide.  (I wish he had and the movie just ended there, honestly – but it continued.)  While he is in the act of hanging himself, he notices Daniel Radcliffe’s body has washed up onto the shore.  He unhooks himself to see if this person is alive, only to be sorely disappointed and realize he is not.  He then presses on the body, which releases some gas.  Move forward a few frames and this dude is riding Daniel Radcliffe’s dead body like a jet ski, while they are being propelled by flatulence.  They ride all the way to a neighboring island or shore, or whatever, which it seems is also deserted until Dano’s character finds a bag of Cheetos or something.  I don’t know whether that bag of Cheetos washed up on shore or if that signified there might be people inhabiting this island; and at this point, I could not have cared less if I tried.  At this point, I had had enough and walked out.  I understand that Daniel Radcliffe is trying to shake his Harry Potter image, but this was foolishness.

In all fairness, I have since spoken to several people who were able to sit through this movie and each of them used words such as “amazing,” “inventive,” “incredible,” “original” to describe it.  Their opinions may or may not be the case, but I will not be revisiting this movie any time soon to find out what I allegedly missed.  Everything is not for everybody and this movie definitely was not for me.

I can’t rate Swiss Army Man at all because I didn’t see it.  I just wasn’t interested enough to continue watching.  That’s the thing about being and getting older – time becomes so valuable.  The one thing I cannot stand above all else is for anything or anyone to waste my time.  I wasn’t willing to take a chance that this might be two hours or so of my life that I would never get back.  At the end of my life I might be praying for another 2 hours, but oh yeah… I wasted it watching some terrible movie.  I know that is not how time and death actually work, but sometimes in my mind it does.  So, this makes the second movie I have walked out on ever, all in the same month.  Things can only getter better from here!

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1   =   worst ever, avoid at all cost
2   =   very bad, forget about it!
3   =   poor movie, not recommended
4   =   not good, even for free – NO!
5   =   so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6   =   not bad, could have been better
7   =   good movie, worth seeing
8   =   great movie, don’t miss it!
9   =   excellent movie, a must see!
10 =   a masterpiece, go see it now!

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