“Self/Less” is an appropriate title, as it deals with a man named Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley) who takes over a younger man’s body (Ryan Reynolds) as he is dying of cancer. The body is supposed to be genetically engineered. However, he learns it belonged to someone else in the past, and he eventually has to decide whether to rid himself of himself, or to continue to take pills that will eventually extinguish any lingering memories of the original tenant of the “house.” As he is told in one scene, the body he inherited isn’t really new, “it has a few miles on it.” The film is a mixture of extreme elements: It touches the emotions in some sequences, such as when the former body’s owner, Mark, sees his wife again when Damian, now using the alias of “Edward,” comes into her life, although he was warned to stay away. On the other side of the coin, the movie has a lot of shoot ’em up action scenes, car chases and crashes, as a certain powerful man does not want Damian to search for former relatives of the body he now possesses. This plot can become confusing if the audience is not paying very close attention.
One of the problems with the film is that although believability is already stretched to the limit, when a person involved with Damian lets out a certain secret, the plot goes over the cliff of credibility. Be that as it may, the idea of seeing a loved one again you thought was gone is intriguing although no mention of an afterlife is used. There is a scene of a service at a grave side in which a man of the cloth is heard praying.
Due to strong language and several scenes of a man in a sexual relationship with many different women, as well as excessive violence, we are unable to award “Self/Less” our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal.