Ryan Reynolds in Self/Less. (Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/Gramercy Pictures)
In Tarsem Singh’s Self/Less Ben Kingsley plays Damian, a very rich man dying from a terminal disease, who undergoes a radical medical procedure called ‘shedding’ which transfers his consciousness into a healthy young man’s body in the form of Ryan Reynolds.
While he feels like he’s given a second chance at life, Damian begins to uncover that there is something sinister with the procedure as he beings to experience flashes of another life. When he discovers the origin of the body and what the organization he got it from does, his life and the lives connected to who his body are endangered.
Singh’s touches of colorful imagery are solid. While the beginning starts off in the sterile, sleek world of the corporate rich, Damian’s move to to new life is full of lush color. The sequences in New Orleans evoke a fantastic tone to the music of the city. As the truth begins to unravel, the film turns into a cross country chase and action thriller.
Damian’s body comes with a handy set of skills, which to be honest isn’t a surprise as Reynold’s former self came from a blue collar military background. While Damian starts off as selfish and egotistical as he begins to see the reality of the procedure he went through his character goes through some unexpected twists.
While the film is not original, it does feel like a modern re-telling of classic Sci-Fi that works as a commentary on the lengths people would go to live forever.
Self/Less is thrilling and despite not being a juggernaut tentpole, it’s simply a movie that will be shame if it goes and adds to Reynold’s list of films that are underrated. He’s had a knack for leading in pictures with depth and interesting characters like in The Voices and Chaos Theory.
If you’re up for something that isn’t just intended to be a spectacle, Self/Less is a refreshing selection that stands apart.
Now in theaters
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