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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 03.04.15] scifi thriller drama

A couple of years ago, German writer/director Damir Lukacevic's brought us a cerebral bit of science fiction with Transfer (review), about an older couple who lease the bodies of a young couple and live their daily lives through these young, new bodies. I've had a chance to revisit Lukacevic's movie twice in the years since I first saw it and it has slowly become one of my favourite lowfi science fiction movies, more interested in ideas and performance than flashy visuals. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood took hold.

Now, this isn't the first time we've seen a story of humans taking physical control of other humans (Gamer - a movie I really like - is a recent good example) but now Tarsem (The Fall, The Cell, Immortals) is getting into the mix and the result is looking rather promising.

The terribly titled Self/Less stars Ben Kingsley as a rich older man who has a terminal illness. Not ready to die, he uses his money to, essentially, buy another life. Matthew Goode runs a business that transfers consciousness from one body to another and once the deed is done, Kingsley wakes up in Ryan Reynolds' body. All's well for a while but then Reynolds' consciousness starts to push back. Psychological break ensues.

I like Tarsem. I'm a big fan of all his movies and am in the camp that feels his stuff is more than just style over substance though his last two projects, Immortals and Mirror Mirror, make it hard to argue that – I liked the earlier more than the latter. It's nice to see him getting back to movies that have a little more going on in the brains department. I'm a bit disappointed the story isn't more original but it's a great concept and I hope Self/Less might turn out for the better.

Self/Less opens July 31.

Recommended Release: The Fall

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