In science fiction, it seems that the same story has been retold over and over again. A person is unsatisfied with life and, with the help of new technology, makes a change with disastrous results, with the overall message that one shouldn’t play God.
“Self/less” stars Ben Kingsley as Damian, a wealthy man who is dying from cancer. Finding his life to be unfulfilled, Damian embarks on an experiment to transfer his mind to a body of a younger person (Ryan Reynolds) which he was told was created in a laboratory.
As the film progresses, Damian discovers that his new body was not built in a lab, but instead was the body of a man who was killed in order to cover his ill daughter’s medical costs. The memories of the original owner of the body begins to resurface and Damian ultimately finds the man’s family as the lab employees pursue him.
As a concept, it is a fresh idea for sci-fi, but the idea fails to translate well on film. Despite having many twists and turns throughout the film, many are predictable or unsurprising.
A long-time comedy actor, Reynolds gives out one of the best performances of his career. Essentially play Kingsley, Reynolds was able to capture the Oscar winner’s mannerisms and speech patterns incredibly well.
Unfortunately, this is essentially where the positives of the films end. The rest of the characters in the film are widely underwhelming, especially Natalie Martinez as the wife who is shocked to find her dead husband is actually not dead. Anyone else put into that situation would be in shock and would be asking many more questions while they are on the run, but instead Martinez seems almost non-chalant throughout the film.
The film has its good moments, but overall, it is a film that can wait to been seen at home rather than in theaters.