SELF/LESS | REVIEW

I made a booboo – I was positive SELF/LESS was coming out this Thursday 30/7 in Australia and not last week 23/7. I do apologise to everyone for me holding off posting this, especially to Roadshow who kindly invited me to a screening of it a couple of weeks back, have been so flat out with lots of exciting things in the pipes but my bad boo boo finally is getting the movie up for review. SELF/LESS is out now (derrrrrr) from Roadshow Films Australia, is rated M and runs for 117mins.  

 

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SELF/LESS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JASON KING

I got my invite, like I do to about a dozen movies a week, I headed in, I expected something like LIMITLESS, I wasn’t that excited and didn’t know too much; Ryan Reynolds has another guy living inside his consciousness, said guy is rich, there is complications and bad guys. Pretty much the actual gist but I thoroughly enjoyed this little-thinking-required action semi/sci-fi.

I was asked the morning after the screening to give my “reaction” to the distributor and this is what I wrote:

“Actually really enjoyed it, was much better than I was expecting – love Tarsem ever since THE CELL and huge gratz on the EMERALD CITY announcement this morning for him.

Always enjoy Reynolds and the plot was mostly solid excluding a few flaws and production values were high – the movie looked sexy and I preferred this to LIMITLESS – loved the concept of it all.”

That pretty much sums it all up.

 

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SELF/LESS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | DAMIAN (BEN KINGSLEY)

 

So Damian is this rich old guy, played by Ben Kinglsey (you know – Ghandi) and he is so wealthy but like the saying goes “money can’t buy you happiness” (total croc – money would totally buy me happiness) but anyways, if we take that saying and add some health to happiness then we kind of have the plot to this movie. Money can buy you a new life when the old one is about to end. If your body is falling to pieces and your about to become fertiliser how would you like to take your soul, your consciousness, and ram it into a much younger, much hotter, much more virile shell of a “human?”

Damian is a squillionaire, a businessman who can have anything but can’t beat cancer, prior to his death he hears of a new, secretive process called “shedding,” where you can shed your old body and enter a new one, but you have to leave everything from your past life behind. If you had the money you would most likely take this option too, I know I would.

 

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SELF/LESS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | THE TWO DAMIANS ABOUT TO HAVE A LITTLE CONSCIOUSNESS SWAP

 

The problem with this is the other saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” and the world takes a downward spiral for Damian; post operation Damian is meant to religiously take medication to counter the difficulties with such a huge operation but when he misses some meds he starts hallucinating another life, another person. And then he decides to look into this other life and from here everything goes south, as the company responsible for the shedding will do anything to protect its secret. On this path, Damian must decide on what is the true and correct path for the new him to be on.

SELF/LESS is directed by Tarsen Singh, he is a visual “genius” but not a movie making genius, he has a small M. Night Shyamalan syndrome, he has inside of him the power to make the greatest film ever made but is held back by some unknown force. His acuity for visuals is astounding, THE CELL is one of my favourite visual movies, he also made IMMORTALS, that sacrificed everything for visuals and left the film hollow and unlovable, I have never seen THE FALL and actually missed his most recent work pre SELF/LESS, MIRROR MIRROR, starring Julia Roberts. He has never achieved what I thought was greatness with THE CELL again but this guy needs to make something like an ALIEN instalment – or a science fiction, he can destroy minds with his visuals if given something worthy and then someone to steer him in the right direction :).

 

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SELF/LESS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | YOUNG DAMIAN AWAKES

 

SELF/LESS is being torn apart by critics at the moment and I am astounded, I preferred it to LIMITLESS, and found the action and visuals superb. I totally love Ryan Reynolds on film, he is believable, gorgeous, never ages and is basically just white Will Smith. How can you not love that? Out of the Tarsem movies I would rate this behind THE CELL but an action movie that requires limited thinking, has some decent actors, looks amazing, has great production values and would recommend you sit down and enjoy the popcorn fuelled ride. Think THE ISLAND or LIMITLESS and this what you will get.

I do like Ben Kinglsey in anything but he has limited screen time, it would have been preferable if when Damian (Kinglsey) enters the subconscious of Young Damian (Ryan Reynolds) that he took on more of the Kingsley characteristics, he took on a few, but it could have had some more focus.

 

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SELF/LESS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | YOUNG DAMIAN WITH A/ HIS FAMILY

 

There was also some huge flaws, most notably, how is it that if he doesn’t take meds for only 12hrs he can work out where to locate the bad guy base? It was my assumption that he took one pill every 24hrs? I could be wrong on this but it kept rattling my brain and then the biggest flaw was the mindset of Damian, once he discovers the atrocity you know what must happen but the movies takes a bit over an hour to get there. While he is a business shark and a squillionaire – you always side with and empathise him, and Young Damian, the course of the movie moved into very predictable but drawn out mode once you yourself discover what must be done, if you like the character you know he (or she) will always eventually do the right thing, the dilly dallying was necessary for runtime but the realisation should have been also discovered in the movie later, as a reveal, ala THE 6TH SENSE. And the big one, while cool, I am pretty sure a flamethrower in a confined space is a completely death inhabiting action of annihilation. But hey, they are cool!

 

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SELF/LESS | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | YOUNG DAMIAN GETS JIGGY WITH A FLAMETHROWER

 

I do not understand all the negativity with this movie, it is still ten times better than the atrocity known as TERMINATOR GENISYS – get out there and watch it, and then let us know what you think :).

 

3 and a Half Pops

 

 

Jason King is the owner and editor of Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Film Critics Circle of Australia and has been in the Australian movie industry for 25yrs. He loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. All the social media links to the right and up will allow you to abuse, troll or stalk him :).