As per the movie’s Wikipedia page: Self/less is a 2015 American science fiction thriller film directed by Tarsem Singh and written by David and Àlex Pastor. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Victor Garber, Derek Luke, and Ben Kingsley. It is a story about a billionaire industrialist Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley) is master of his universe, until he encounters a foe that he can’t defeat: cancer. His only hope is a radical medical procedure called “shedding,” in which his consciousness is transferred to a healthy body. After the procedure, Damian, now called Edward (Ryan Reynolds), starts a new life in New Orleans, but he’s plagued by disturbing images. When he delves into Edward’s mysterious origin, he learns that some will kill to keep it secret.
I wasn’t that interested to watch this movie since I saw the trailer. Even though the plot is somehow unique, it still did not appeal to me and I was right. Well basing on the synopsis above (provided by their Wiki page), the process of it somehow has its pros and cons. But it scares me to think of again playing like God and trying to extend a dying person’s life by transferring his consciousness to another healthy body. I got to think that maybe, this is already in practice now with those wealthy and influential people who can afford to do this, perhaps altering Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein’s body and declare them dead to the public (haha!).
Okay, going back to the movie… Self/less is an almost 2-hour long movie that could shorten further as there are a lot of scenes where it is unnecessary. It is such a waste as the film really has a strong premise to play into and focused on producing thought-provoking twists to strengthen the suspense and thrill which the movie lacks. I really feel they can still do more with the tone and make it grittier and darker.
I know the story is too complicated but they wasted that moment of providing a better screenplay (the script, including acting and scene directions). There are instance when you miss a single dialogue between the characters, you would miss the opportunity to understand the reason why they did that, e.g. about metals interfering the process of shedding; lots of scenes that are too predictable & cliched; editing is not well polished and they failed to get their audience hooked to the flick until the end.
Even the actors are a waste. Ryan Reynolds is a talented actor who can do any movie genre but in this film, he is somehow a let down. I can’t feel his sincerity as the character Damian/Mark. I even felt Ben Kingley’s acting performance more than Ryan’s. They missed that occasion of using the actor’s brilliant acting talent in order to provide a more realistic and natural acting. I think this is another case of a movie with a bad director.
With this, I will give 1.5 out of 5 stars to Self/less.
“Selfless poster” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia