Top critical review
Deserves No Better Than Two Stars
Reviewed in the United States on January 25, 2019
Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley) is a Billionaire NY real estate tycoon who chooses to undergo a procedure to transfer his consciousness from his stage four cancer stricken body into the body of an artificially healthy body, only to discover afterward that his consciousness has been transferred into the body of someone who was a husband, a father, and a former special forces soldier. Now identifying himself as Edward Kidner (Ryan Reynolds) he sets out to correct a wrong. Hale had been promised a body in a blank state but he was lied to. Writers Alex and David Pastor should have known better, and Ben Kingsley fails in his portrayal of Damian Hale first of all because a NY billionaire real estate tycoon who "built New York" is highly unlikely to care much about the moral complications of gaining a lease on a new life at the expense of another. Hale seeks to make amends with his daughter whom he has neglected most of his life only when he faces the very final stage of his existence, by bringing her a check. How fitting ! If he was so demonstrably devoid of caring and understanding, if he was such a shallow human being, then it makes no sense that as Edward Kidner he would seek to find the wife and young daughter of the much younger man whose body he occupies out of concern or even out of curiosity. Upon transference Damian Hale would far more likely seek to suppress or completely erase any conscious remnants of the person whose healthy body he now occupies to embark on an ambitious plan to lie, cheat, and collude his way to become US president. It is Reynolds who saves this film from the bottom of the garbage heap. Due to the giant holes in the plot, Self/Less deserves no better than two stars. The film could have been saved and made much more sense if Damian Hale had started out in his life-extension quest as a world renowned surgeon, artist, or even an athlete megastar, but a real estate tycoon?