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Self/Less

There were some warning bells going off in my head about this one. The premise really got me, and it looked like it could be the type of psychological thriller that I love, but something didn't feel right. From the trailer and the lack of buzz, I was just left wanting, instead of getting the dark and subversive vibe I was hoping for. I prayed I was wrong, but knew if nothing else, I could at least enjoy Ryan Reynolds on screen.

Ben Kingsley is this rich old guy (Damien) who isn't long for this world. He makes arrangements with a shady (but shiny) secret company (run by Matthew Goode) that for an obscene amount of money will transfer his consciousness into Ryan Reynolds' body. Soon after the transfer or "shedding" happens, Damien starts getting flashes of memories that aren't his. Turns out, the body wasn't tissue grown in a lab as he was originally told, but it had a previous original owner. Bad things happen.

The premise was intriguing, and the aforementioned cast members (plus Natalie Martinez, huzzah for a Hispanic woman!) were fantastic. The rest of the movie, not so much. Things felt a little forced as they tried to work a suspenseful plot around those events, with Damien trying to find out what really happened to him and go after the company who was responsible. If you've read this far, you're probably feeling bored or incredulous right now, and you'd be right.

Usually, I'm a total sucker for the freaky Friday body switch type of story. Somehow my brain really does believe it and perceives that the performance is coming from the actor inhabiting the body instead of the actor whose body it is. Except this time, instead of being able to believe that it was actually Ben Kingsley acting instead of Ryan Reynolds, I could only make the leap as far as someone else who wasn't Reynolds was in charge. I think that's likely more the writing than the acting, since I was able to believe Reynolds when he switched with Jason Bateman in The Change Up a few years ago. Um, yeah, let's not talk about that movie.

I knew curiosity would get the best of me and send me to this film. Don't make the same mistake. If you really wanna see this, wait until the DVD is in a bargain bin or on Netflix. And just wait until the next movie that Kingsley or Reynolds or Goode do. I'm sure they'll come out unscathed and this will quickly be wiped from memory.

Self/less - \m/ \m/
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