Fantasy movies have rocked the screen this summer. While Self / less is not about a super hero, it touches on a subject that we’ve explored forever, immortality. I’m going to critique this movie in two parts. The first part for those who have not seen Self / less and the second part those who have. So part two not only will give away the story but basically be a huge spoiler.
Ben Kinsley plays a wealthy business tycoon named Damian Hayes who is dying of terminal cancer at the ripe old age of 68. A business card discreetly leads him to a contact named Professor Albright (Matthew Goode) and company offering a procedure called Shedding that transfers your consciousness into a genetically engineered healthy body. In Damian’s case, $250M will give him a second chance at life. He must say good bye to his current life, friends and family and tell no one. This concept is nothing new, it’s just presented differently. As the movie forges on, we begin to see that Professor Albright and his company isn’t as it seems. Many lies come to light, which makes for a very interesting film. As Damian, who is on heavy medication, begins to experience heavy hallucinations, he is sure that something is terribly wrong. He discovers that he is being lied to and there’s no one who can help him because his death was staged and his new body has no identifying marks of his past. He is now Edward Hale (Ryan Reynolds), a younger man with no ties to Damian Hale. I found Self / less interesting but full of questions for which there were no answers. Despite the obvious, I still liked this movie and would recommend seeing it.
IF YOU HAVE SEEN SELF / LESS OR DON’T CARE ABOUT SPOILERS READ ON — IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN SELF / LESS THE FOLLOWING WILL SPOIL THE MOVIE FOR YOU!!!
Damian learns that his new body is a real person who sacrificed himself for money to save his dying, sick daughter. After investigating, he discovers everything he needs to know about the procedure, Albright and his illegal company. There are many twist in this movie that lead to many questions. I am posting a few of the obvious ones.
These are some questions you might ask after seeing Self / less:
- How unstable of a person would you have to be to believe anyone has the technology to manufacture a body good enough to replace a human body that can fully function except the brain?
If this technology did exist, why couldn’t they just make you look like you, only without being ill?
- What kind of person sacrifices a human being, including themselves or a loved one, for money. Someone donated their perfectly healthy young son for some unknown reason.
- Since this procedure is contingent on a healthy brain, how can you offer a service that you can’t guarantee the outcome of your brain staying healthy and charge that kind of money?
- How long could Albright’s brain stay healthy? What would be the contingency for his clients who continue to need his assistance?
- How long would it be before some of these people are recognized?
I don’t think the Company was well thought out. There’s no way any plan this sloppy could survive. Too many loose ends.