Self/Less (2015) Review


When a wealthy real estate man Damian (Ben Kingsley) finds himself nearing his death, he looks up a new practice called “shedding”. Shedding involves transferring one’s consciousness into a new and lab created body. Enlisting the help of the man in charge of shedding, Albright (Matthew Goode), Damian awakes in a younger body (Ryan Reynolds). He thinks the operation was a success and goes about his new life as a new and young man. Along the way he experiences visions that Albright said were hallucinations, subscribing pills to fix them. It isn’t long however before Damian meets Madeline (Natalie Martinez), the WIFE of the man whose body he now inhabits. Damian then finds himself, along with Natalie and her young daughter in danger and coming closer to the dark truth of shedding.

Self/Less is a new sci-fi thriller that brings a fairly new concept to the table. The idea of shedding in the film is very much fascinating and it leads you to want to know more about it. However, the film doesn’t go there. Instead it introduces the idea, but then branches into our main character discovering the secrets behind it. While this is understandable in terms of actually giving us a story, it leaves the entire idea up in the air despite having plenty of room for it to be explored. Instead, the entire middle section is extremely dull with little to no real action or thrills to keep it going. Don’t get me wrong, the mystery behind Albright and this procedure is great for the story, and it does feature some interesting twists, but a little more insight to shedding itself would have been beneficial. The performances were pretty on point, especially by Ryan Reynolds. With a character with vast complexity, Reynolds really finds the full personality of the character. Though there are moments where the performance was pretty wooden, but for the most part, he does well with the part. Matthew Goode sells it in the role of the villain, and gives the better performance of the film. For those wishing to see what Sir Ben Kingsley provides in this movie, you will genuinely disappointed. Kingsley really doesn’t have anything to do here and has a total of about fifteen minutes of screen time. Natalie Martinez does well with her dramatic scenes, but otherwise she’s just kind of there and doesn’t get much else to do. Despite this her character is likable and you do feel for her, and Reynolds’ role is likable as well. The result of this movie has you thinking more about the concept and the ending makes you wonder what decision you would make if you were in this character’s shoes.

Self/Less brings forward a fresh and interesting concept, and while the idea itself helps move the story forward, it delve into the actual idea. This leaves us with a good portion of the film with the story basically on cruise control and doesn’t get anywhere until the last quarter of the movie. In turn, the cast does with what they can to keep it from being a total snoozer while it coasts. Despite this, it is worth watching for the concept and story itself.



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