Self/Less: a Half-Hearted Sci-Fi Thriller

3 years ago by DSouza

Self/less is a sci-fi thriller starring Ryan Reynolds and Natalie Martinez and directed by Tarsem Singh. The movie’s runtime is 116 minutes and is rated PG-13.

A rich man on his deathbed goes through a life-changing medical procedure, allowing him to live in a consciousness of another individual. Not all is hunky-dory when he unravels the body’s mysterious origins and the organization behind it with a kill-for-secrecy attitude.

Story Arc
Certain movies have a slash in their name such as:
o Face/Off
o Crazy/Beautiful

The added punctuation is amongst the few things going for Self/less, another sci-fi thriller this year, which explores an interesting subject but compromises on certain ideas in return for action beats. The protagonist is Ben Kingsley, a self-made New York City real estate magnate dwelling in a large penthouse. The world is literally at his feet but he is on deathbed due to terminal cancer. With only six months to live, he is ready to adhere to something outrageous. For just quarter of a billion bucks, his consciousness is transferred in a lab developed human body (Ryan Reynolds).

He will have to sever ties with business associates and his daughter. The new Ben Kingsley now enjoys life to the maximum with traveling, sports, and sleazing around. Now the plot thickens (as usual), he begins to have flashbacks about a war he didn’t fight in and a family he never had. It seems the doctor was withholding information from him all this time. The race begins with a woman tagging along with a kill-group on his tail.

Self/less questions troubling questions such as:
o Identity’s nature
o Ethics pervading scientific research
o Cost of aging

The movie is scripted by David Pastor and Alex Pastor and fails to deeply examine these questions as the movie resorts to typical car chases and typical Hollywood action routine. Moreover, how is the project a secret when information is found on Wikipedia? Ryan Reynolds looks distant for the most part while Kingsley looks awkward with his weird New York accent. Matthew Goode looks good in his evil scientist character while Michelle Dockery adds some beauty to the screen.

Its main fault lies in its lack of depth. It doesn’t explore scientific concepts in depth and the ethics surrounding it neither it is as competitive as Limitless or Source Code to give some food for thought to its audience. Coming from Tarsem Singh, it was expected to be his better works similar on the lines with The Fall and The Cell.

Photo credit: Facebook/Selfless

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