Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

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Self/less

Film #564

THE PLOT

A dying real estate mogul transfers his consciousness into a healthy young body, but soon finds that neither the procedure nor the company that performed it are quite what they seem.

THE REVIEW: I wasn’t actually expecting much from Self/less because the trailer didn’t really boast some really complex head-scratcher, nor did it look like some blockbuster destruction-athon. It simply looked like a run-of-the-mill science fiction movie with Ben Kingsley (who plays billionaire Damian Hale) and Ryan Reynolds (who plays Edward Kidner — Hale’s new “body”). Only a few days later, I’ve forgotten lots of the details of this film and only remember the broad strokes which I think highlights exactly what Self/less is like.

This may be the epitome of a background movie for me. Most of the time I can’t just have TV on in the background while I do something else; I can’t multitask like that. If I put a movie or television show on, that takes 100% of my attention. With Self/less it was no different, but the story seems so rote and familiar (despite actually have some unique qualities) that when the movie ends, two hours have gone by and you come out of this sort of haze where you enjoyed what you just watched but it starts fading as soon as the credits roll.

The characters are fairly shallow and stock, the story could be compared (as inferior to) almost any other science fiction film, and the visuals and sound also are quite average. Some interesting ethical and moral questions are raised and discussed, and there is at least one decent twist that comes late in the movie, but overall Self/less lacks a wow-factor for its duration. My usual tendency is to round ratings up which adds a star to almost every film, and I was tempted to do that with Self/less and give it three stars because there really isn’t anything wrong with the movie, it just isn’t all the memorable. However, I resisted that temptation and awarded two stars for the reason that even for a movie to watch in the background while you’re bored, there are so many other better options you could choose from that deliver a much better return on time devoted.

THE RATING: 2 out of 5