Sir Ben Kingsley hands off a character to…Ryan Reynolds? Um…OK.
|Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds as Damian Hale|
|Matthew Goode as Albright|
|Michelle Dockery as Claire Hale|
|Natalie Martinez as Madeline Caguioa|
|and Ryan Reynolds as Mark Caguioa|
Self/less is the kind of movie that starts of brilliantly with an interesting concept that questions morality, legality and even self. Then it sort of loses the plot and diverges into an action thriller. That would be alright if the action thriller bit was awesome, but it wasn’t. In fact, it was pretty by the book, and that’s kind of disappointing.
Damian Hale is a rich, successful and ruthless property developer in New York. He has a strained relationship with his daughter, which is never going to heal because they’re both stubborn and set in their ways. Damian has a more immediate problem though, and that’s his late stage cancer.
A mysterious benefactor gives him an insight into “shedding” which is a process by which he can inhabit a new body that’s supposedly grown in a lab. Which we find out later is not true. But Damian doesn’t know that, and so he pays to switch bodies and identities, leaving his old life behind for a new Ryan Reynolds like body.
In the beginning it all goes to plan, apart from the usual subconscious memories of the body’s original inhabitant surfacing as hallucinations. And he gets to bed lots of hot women. But after a while, he gets sick of the bachelor lifestyle and starts asking questions about shedding, the most important of which revolve around vivid memories of a woman and a daughter.
This is the point where the action thriller bit begins, and while it’s passable, there isn’t quite the meat on this kebab to pass for the really great movie. Basically the only question the movie asks of Damian is whether he’ll sacrifice his new “life” as it were, so that the other soul will be able to reassert himself. It doesn’t really talk about anything else, apart from saving the good guys.
You know, this movie is a lot like buying a car made by Chrysler. It’s a good idea to buy a car, but why walk into a Chrysler dealership when all their cars are badly designed piles of poo? Who consciously enjoys a low level of mediocrity like that?
Great concept, bad execution. Kind of like a Chrysler.
Watch this if you…
Enjoy Ryan Reynolds’ serious face.
Skip this if you…
Enjoy Ryan Reynolds’ wit, humour and comedic timing.