FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Tonight, I got to finally see “Self/less” which stars Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal, R.I.P.D.), Ben Kingsley (Schindler’s List, Shutter Island), Natalie Martinez (End of Watch, Death Race), Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game, Watchmen), Victor Garber (Titanic , Argo), Derek Luke (Captain America: The First Avenger, Glory Road), and Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen. When a successful business man named Damian (Kingsley) begins to slowly die of cancer, he finds a way to keep himself alive. It is a new, lesser known science known as “shedding” as it transfers one man’s mind into the head of a genetically made human being. Skeptical at first, Damian gives in and transfers himself into the mind of another. But as Damian begins to receive visions of memories he has never had before, he begins to wonder what the industry that did this to him is secretly behind.
This is the first film from my watch list that I have finally reviewed in a long time. I planned on watching this in theaters when it came out over the Summer, but of course I never got the chance to. It wasn’t a total loss, however, for this movie wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. What drew me into this picture in the first place was its concept. The idea of an dying man transferring his brain into a younger man with consequences attached sounds awesome. The trailer even looked good. It was an interesting thing forming, and it showed a lot of promise. Plus it starred Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds, two actors I respect, even though Ryan Reynolds hasn’t gotten much of a great reception from critics in his past years. Watching this movie, I expected some sort of backstory with the old Ben Kingsley Damian. It helps to form a character mold to connect to since two people will play him. The way this movie pulled it off was both beneficial to them and harmful for the viewing experience. Ben Kingsley was only in the first fifteen to thirty minutes, not having much to do but talk to people about either business or the procedure he wants to go through. These were good scenes. I thought his character was good and his acting was great. The beginning was good. But what hindered this was the fact that his character had little development. Once he switched over to Ryan Reynolds’s body, I couldn’t tell if he was portraying him well or not. It basically felt like Reynolds’s regular sci-fi acting, but in a different situation. He gave a good show though, and I liked the raw emotion he put into the role at critical moments. It just would have been better if he had more development to work from so that I can see an accomplishment of two actors acting the same. Nonetheless, the character of Damian was peeled back a little bit with Reynolds’s acting more than from Kingsley’s, so we got to see some build up in character development along the way. Emphasis on “some” though. As for the rest of the acting, it was really good, even though there wasn’t much to watch with Reynolds’ being the center of attention. In terms of the story, I thought it was okay. There were very good scenes in this film, and I like the way it was edited with the montages. They had a good flow to them. It was a good adventure to see with the promising concept the trailer showed me, but what disappointed me most was how predictable it was. It’s this movie’s biggest con. If you haven’t seen the trailer, I suggest you don’t watch it if you want to see this picture. It basically spoils the huge plot twist, if “huge” is the best word for it. I would say that even if I didn’t watch the trailer, I would have caught on to what was going on. There were several aspects of this flick that I predicted to be true, even the smallest of things. It was rather sad, and it made the experience not as enjoyable since it didn’t have me thrown for a loop or on the edge of my seat. I just felt like I was there, watching a film like I have seen it before even though I haven’t. I will admit though, there was at least two things that caught me off guard, those of which I won’t say for it would be a spoiler. Another issue that I found with this movie would be the purpose of this shedding project. The main boss of it said that it would help the greatest minds be able to contribute to society with more ideas for a much longer time, but really once someone signs up for this they are always under house arrest. It wouldn’t be a major con though because just writing that makes me feel like I am going against a point that the writers are trying to make. Those are really the only cons I found in this. The predictability is really detrimental to this, though, for it made me have to rely on other elements to get through the two hour experience. Don’t make that turn you away though. I was entertained throughout the whole runtime. Sure, it’s not the best sci-fi that I have ever seen, but it isn’t the worst. I can sit back and watch it because of the good idea, great acting, and some cool action scenes. It offers quite a bit to the table even though it doesn’t get above a C-rate. Overall, this was an okay movie that could’ve been so much better with a greater care to the script. What I was given wasn’t bad though, for it did have its moments and it was rather enjoyable in the long run. FINAL SCORE: 75%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: