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SELF/LESS | Movie Review

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SELF/LESS | © 2015 Focus Features

Do you feel immortal?

Reincarnation may be one of mankind’s greatest mysteries. Debate over it has been going on for centuries. Be it by religious and/or scientific beliefs, the fact is a soul leaving one’s body and entering another is a last strip of superstitious hope many hold on to in order to keep their loved ones’ memory alive in one way, shape, or form.

With a radical idea of such a powerful act, SELF/LESS exposes this subject-matter in a controversial way.

In this strange, yet interesting psychological science fiction thriller, a wealthy man (Academy Award winner Sir Ben Kingsley) dying from terminal cancer undergoes a rather extreme medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a much healthier younger man (Ryan Reynolds). But all that shines isn’t platinum as he slowly uncovers the mystery of both the body’s origin via hallucinations that seem way too real, as well as the secret organization that will kill to protect their cause.

In a nutshell, a lot about this film (although different in many ways) will lightly resemble John Woo’s FACE/OFF (’97). The difference of course stems from SELF/LESS’ story-line and cast. Its concept, twist, and overall mood-swings are great to endure. Fast paced and beautifully shot, SELF/LESS has its grip when exposing what it needs to. On the flip, my gripes are as follows: 1. I would have wanted more of Sir Ben Kingsley. Horrible NY accent aside, this man’s artistic aura is beyond powerful. And 2. Not sure if Reynolds was the right type of fit following Kingsley’s footsteps and a dark, dramatic character full of overbearing scenarios. Reynolds wasn’t bad, just a little too “pretty” (for me) in a robotic kinda way.

In the end, its downfalls didn’t hurt the film. Overall, SELF/LESS is a thought provoking piece opening on overwhelming complexities when mankind tries playing God.


Grade: B- / Genre: Sci-Fi, Action Thriller / Rating: PG-13 / Run Time: 1 Hr. 57 Min.

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Ben Kingsley

Directed by: Tarsem Signh

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