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SELF/LESS

What to know: Riveting sci-fi, action packed, mystery thriller that takes a new look at immortality.
KIDS FIRST ALL STAR
Recommended age 15-18
117 minutes
FeatureFilm
FOCUS COMMUNICATIONS
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SELF/LESS cover image
Self/less is the riveting new sci-fi, action packed, mystery thriller that takes a new look at immortality. Damian, played by Ben Kingsley, is a wealthy man nearing his 70s dying of cancer. He is contacted by a radical medical company that claims they grant "immortality" to the world's most brilliant minds by transferring one's consciousness from their failing body, to a state-of-the-art, new body that has been grown in a lab. Desperate for more time, Damian opts into the procedure and, after a successful operation, is now living in his healthy new body, played by Ryan Reynolds. Damian is at the height of luxury in his new life, until he starts having flashbacks of memories that are not his. In a search for answers, he stumbles upon a secret that was never meant to be discovered, his new body was not designed just for him, but once was occupied by a real person with a life, family and memories. Now Damian has to fight for his life while trying to protect the family of the man whose body he is now living in.

This film is truly brilliant. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I went into the film, but am absolutely blown away with the outcome of this movie. It takes such a unique spin on the age old concept of immortality and the format of the film is a very refreshing take on typical action/thriller blockbusters. The cinematography and visual pacing of the film is wonderful. Many scenes of the film are comprised of montages and voice-overs, keeping the film fast paced and engaging over the course of its two hours. This movie kept me on the edge of my seat with mystery and action, but also has a very strong and thought provoking plot line. This combination of classic action and moral conflict creates the perfect movie-going experience for a wide range of audience and genre preference.

Ryan Reynolds is excellent in this film. He plays "young Damian" or "the new Damian" and goes through quite a large arch of character development and growth over the course of the film. He does a wonderful job portraying the difficulties of occupying a foreign body, and having the mind of a 70-year-old with the body of a much younger man. Once Damian is accustomed to his new body, he carries out a life of luxury a pleasure, going to clubs every night and coming home with different women, wearing the most expensive clothes and going to all the high end parties. At first I was a little disappointed and thought that this is how the rest of the film would be, but once Damian started to realize that he had been lied to about the origin of his body, his strong moral guide comes out, adding depth to his character. Ryan Reynolds executes this character transition flawlessly, he shows the growth and internal struggles that Damian faces in a beautiful way, making him not only a fantastic actor, but Damian my favorite character as well.

This film, as I mentioned before, is very thought provoking, it made me question the way I would respond if I was put in a similar situation and really calls out the selfishness that many people have in our society. It puts a price on life and asks if that is moral. I believe that if a film can leave you thinking about its message even after you have left the theater, it deserves some high marks, so I give Self/less 5 out of 5 stars.

This film does feature some mature language and sexual situations, as well as quite a bit of violence, so I recommend it for ages 15 to 18. This film will also tug on your heart strings so be prepared for heavy subject matter. Self/less is in theaters now so make sure you check it out!

Reviewed by Raven D., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 17

see youth comments
A dying real estate mogul transfers his consciousness into a healthy young body, but soon finds that neither the procedure nor the company that performed it are quite what they seem.
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