Self/less features Ben Kingsley as a wealthy man dying from cancer who forks over a lot of dough to undergo a radical medical procedure called ‘shedding’. His consciousness is transferred into a younger, healthier body (Ryan Reynolds), but it’s a rough transition and there are intense, hallucinatory side effects if he doesn’t take his medicine. His only source of meds is the elusive doc that performed the procedure; a man he has no way of contacting. As his pill supply runs low, he finds clues in the hallucinations and follows them to some interesting revelations.
Sounds like the trappings of a decent science fiction flick, right? I thought so, but the promising setup quickly gives way to an abundance of mediocre action sequences, and an all-too-convenient ending that is tough to swallow. The result is forgettable. Self/less isn’t intelligent sci-fi or entertaining action. It isn’t as smart as Ex Machina and it’s not as fun as Face/Off. It’s visually bland, and that’s surprising given that art-direction is usually a highlight of director Tarsem Singh’s work (The Cell, The Fall).
Kingsley’s small role doesn’t call for much. Reynolds’ on the other hand, is a tough assignment. He’s the empty vessel that Kingsley’s character takes over, but you never get the feeling that it’s Kingley’s character’s consciousness inside of Reynold’s body–it just feels like typical Ryan Reynolds.
This one might be worth a look if you’re a forgiving viewer that likes summer spectacle. Otherwise, stay away. I didn’t hate it, but I won’t be watching it again.
2 out of 5 Nerdskulls
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