Ryan Reynolds hits screens again on July 10 with the action packed ‘Self/less’. The hunky actor co-stars with Sir Ben Kingsley in this body switching caper. But did these two excellent actors pull it off? Read the reviews to find out if the critics were thrilled by their latest effort or if the complicated plot left them feeling uninspired.
It’s been a struggle at the box office lately for Candadian cutie Ryan Reynolds, 38. Now he’s trying to break his cold streak with the hot new action/thriller Self/less. Along for the ride is the always spectaular Sir Ben Kingsley who plays a real estate tycoon who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. In a bid for immortality, or at least a new lease on life, he agrees to have his consciousness implanted into the Ryan’s younger and healthier body — which has some unintended and dangerous consequences. See what the critics have to say about this new flick.
At the start of Self/less, Damian Hale, a ruthless New York real estate magnate, is played by Ben Kingsley, who seems to have fired his dialect coach halfway to mastering what is apparently supposed to be a Brooklyn accent. No matter. Damian, who has a terminal illness, has purchased immortality — or at least extended life on his original warranty — from a smooth and shady British scientist named Albright (Matthew Goode). After his death, Damian’s unique cognitive software, his reservoir of memories and feelings and thoughts, is uploaded into the body and brain of Ryan Reynolds. So is the job of carrying this entirely preposterous, not entirely unenjoyable movie.
This bland execution extends to the film’s cinematography as well – and Self/less is, by far, Singh’s least inventive project. Moviegoers have taken issue with the director’s work in the past but, even when the plot of Mirror Mirror or The Immortals stumbled, the projects offered, at the very least, captivating and unique cinematography. The same cannot be said for Self/less – which rests on its premise, more than story or visuals, resulting in a streamlined but uninspired execution. A disappointment, given that Singh is usually much more ambitious and imaginative.
For a while, as Self/less unfurls all of its knotty complications, the movie gives off a junkily entertaining vibe, like the A-picture knockoffs that used to roll down the assembly line of shlock impresarios Roger Corman and Menahem Golan. But the more the narrative straightens out into a series of shootouts, punch-outs and car chases, the more monotonous it becomes (especially at 116 minutes). Unlike “Seconds,” Singh’s movie isn’t much interested in exploring the psychological consequences of becoming a “new” person, and it lacks the energy and humor that might have transformed it into a rollicking, “Total Recall”-style caper.
The elaborately convoluted, soul-swapping thriller Self/less squanders its intriguing premise with a loud and labored beat-the-bad-guys trajectory. Directed by Tarsem Singh (“The Cell”) from a dizzying script by Alex Pastor and David Pastor, the result is a depressingly slick and empty house of cards that collapses under the weight of its muddled intentions.
The critics have weighed in, now it’s your turn HollywoodLifers! Will you see Self/Less this weekend?
— Emily Longeretta & Alex Cramer