Self/Less

Theatrical Release: July 10, 2015
Self/Less
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sex
language
violence
drugs
nudity
other

Synopsis

An extremely wealthy man, dying from cancer, undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause.

Dove Review

“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.

Content Description

Sex: Passionate kissing and man seen in bed in various scenes with many different women; woman wraps legs around man; woman seen wearing very little.
Language: A lot of language, including "GD", "J", the "F" bomb, as well as many other expletives and profanities.
Violence: A man is set on fire; flame thrower starts house on fire; a vehicle is set on fire; many fights with punching, elbows, and kicking; people are shot and killed; blood is seen in a few scenes; car crashes and collisions; a gun is held on several people.
Drugs: Prescription medicine seen on tray; men take a special pill to rid themselves of the other person's memories; drinking in several scenes, including wine.
Nudity: Side of woman's breast seen in dark scene; woman seen wearing just a thong; cleavage and shirtless men.
Other: Betrayal and strong tension between characters; an elderly man's heart is stopped so his "soul" or "mind" can be put into a new body; grief over loss of loved ones.

Info

Company: Focus Features
Director: Tarsem
Genre: Science-Fiction
Runtime: 112 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter