SYNOPSIS: In this provocative psychological science fiction thriller, an extremely wealthy man (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body's origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause.
Tarsem Singh known for his stylish The Cell and The Fall helmed this high-concept sci-fi thriller that falls flats right after the first act. Despite that, it remains watchable for that fact that it remains a serviceable action movie with the charming Ryan Reynolds in the lead.
Sir Ben Kingsely puts in a 15 minutes performance as Damien Hale, a billionaire who has everything in the world except a clean bill of health and a love one. Desperate to continue living, Damien accepts the proposal of a Professor (Matthew Goode) to undergo a radical process call “shedding”. It’s a process whereby a person’s thoughts, consciousness is transferred to a new lab grown body as briefed by Professor Albright. Shortly later, while starting his new life in a young body (Ryan “Deadpool” Reynolds), Damien finds himself suffering from visions and hallucinations that do not belong to him but a guy named Mark.
Self/Less lures unsuspecting audiences with the promise of breakthrough science and the terrible consequences of it. It’s also a body-swap suspense thriller with a creepy doctor being the creator. Somehow for whatever reason, the screenplay simply stops at this point. All the clever ideas abruptly ran out and Self/Less turned itself into a series of generic shootouts and car chases. Even a twist towards the end involving the son of a character didn’t make things any more interesting.
Immortals was a 300 copycat but beautiful to look at. Mirror Mirror works well for a non-Disney movie. Sad to say, Self/Less is Singh’s most commercial and worst effort to date. The story here for one is tepid. The action sets are too mediocre though points must be awarded for the presence of a flamethrower. The entire production design looks budgeted. At the very least, Ryan Reynolds still has what it takes to make a lousy movie watchable.
Take a look at Inside SELF/LESS if you are keen how the late Steve Jobs inspired this movie. Experts delve into the possibility of shedding in Shedding. Singh provides an interesting discussion of the movie in Audio commentary by director Tarsem Singh.
The movie looks good enough on DVD, less flashy and muted for a Tarsem Singh helmed movie. The Dolby Digital 5.1 handles the action very well from gunfire to explosions. Dialogue is clear throughout.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee