REVIEW: Self/Less

10 07 2015

The central conceit of Tarsem Singh’s “Self/Less” is effortlessly appealing, if not incredibly novel.  A new technological breakthrough allows for the transfer of a nimble mind from a decaying body into a more spry figure.  As Matthew Goode’s well-coiffed scientist Albright puts it, think of what Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, or Steve Jobs could have accomplished with a few more years.

The man who receives this revolutionary soul transplant seems to share little in common with those three luminaries, though.  Ben Kingsley’s Damian Hale simply amassed a fortune as a real estate baron.  When he sheds his cancer-addled body and reemerges in the toned physique of Ryan Reynolds, Damian uses the new lease on life not to help humanity but rather to please himself.  In pursuit of nothing but hedonism, he beds plenty of women and never once shows why he deserves an extension of his time on earth.

Beyond Damian’s clear lack of merit to receive the shedding treatment, “Self/Less” suffers from plot holes and shallow thinking aplenty.  Writers David and Alex Pastor do add in a few complications to the concept, mostly resulting from the incomplete erasure of the mind that used to inhabit Damian’s new frame.  (Side note: Why not just clone these new bodily vessels?)  The ethical questions surrounding who really owns a physical body or a life are fascinating ones indeed…

…that will have to be answered by another movie, because “Self/Less” would much rather just cut to a mindless car chase than linger on a mindful discussion.  The Pastor brothers placed their fingers on a topic that could inspire meaningful, relevant debate.  Perhaps if they were able to complete two or three more drafts of the screenplay, they might have stumbled on something really profound.  But as is, the potential for a great movie gets squandered to produce a merely passable one.  C+2stars

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: