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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Friday, May 20, 2016

Movie Review - Self/less

Self/less (2015)
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Victor Garber, Derek Luke, Michelle Dockery, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, and Ben Kingsley
Directed by Tarsem Singh

When the aging billionaire Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley) is diagnosed with terminal cancer, his wealth permits him to meet up with a scientifically creative professor named Albright (Matthew Goode) who has created a procedure called "shedding" wherein one's thoughts, consciousness, and "mental past" is transferred into the body of a younger, healthier body.  Hale agrees to the procedure which is successful as Hale's consciousness is placed into that of a younger man (Ryan Reynolds).  As the new "Hale" starts a new life, he begins to have flashbacks involving a woman (Natalie Martinez) and her young daughter (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen) whom he never knew.

Who exactly are these two females and why "Hale" is envisioning them are the questions at the center of director Tarsem Singh's Self/less (yes, that '/' is ridiculously part of the title for some reason) which isn't nearly as confusing as that summary may make it sound.  Unfortunately, the premise despite being slightly original feels tired because the screenplay and direction are rote and generic, unable to capture the genuine interest of the audience.  Ryan Reynolds is fine and he, at the very least, makes the flick watchable.  However, Matthew Goode (whom I typically like) is given a role that feels incredibly cookie cutter -- and whose character's motivations are obvious from the get-go.  Also unfortunate, Reynolds shares many a scene with Natalie Martinez, a model-turned-actress who I've seen in a few things now (including an entire season of the tv show Secrets and Lies) and am convinced she can't effectively emote onscreen.  Over-the-top, not believable in the slightest, and oftentimes painful to watch, I don't quite know why she's getting jobs in the entertainment industry.  Maybe she'll grow as an actress, but right now I'm not enjoying what she brings to the table.

Self/less actually isn't quite as painful as this review may make it out to be, but it's certainly not all that entertaining.  It's a bit too much of a slog to sit through in order to make it be considered even average.

The RyMickey Rating:  C-

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