I make no secret about this, I’m a huge fan of sci-fi, and while I love the big budget blockbusters, I have an affinity for the smaller scale releases. I believe they are where the most intriguing stories and interesting ideas can come from. Self/less definitely has the potential to be one of these films, and with a good cast and an interesting concept (even if it’s one that’s been done before), I was optimistic going in to this film.
I’m very happy to say that I enjoyed this film a lot. As I’ve already alluded to, the plot of Self/less is nothing particularly special. There are a few surprises, but it does follow all the beats you might expect, and it does come to what is really the only natural conclusion. The thing is, when something’s done well, it doesn’t matter.
What struck me multiple times was how intelligent this film is. There are lots of little details that come back later on, things you might not have thought were important. It also follows the rules of the world they’ve made very closely. Rarely did I think ‘that wouldn’t happen’, and even if it did something would happen later to justify it.
Really helping to sell what is actually quite a ridiculous concept are the three main actors. Ryan Reynolds is continuing his strong run (The Voices, Woman in Gold and now Self/less, all leading up to an amazing Deadpool?), Ben Kingsley is his usual brilliant self, building an intimidating and rich character in only a few scenes, and Matthew Goode continues to impress me, and make me wonder why he doesn’t get more work.
If you’re the kind of person that thinks you’re going to enjoy this film, then you probably will. It’s smart and interesting, if a little bit slow in some sections. If you’re the kind of person who thinks they’re going to hate this film, then you might be in for a pleasant surprise.
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