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Film review: ‘Self/less’

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Matthew Goode and Ryan Reynolds star in Self/less.

Two stars

Self/less Ryan Reynolds, Matthew Goode, Natalie Martinez. Directed by Tarsem Singh. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday.

A sci-fi thriller starring Ryan Reynolds released at the height of the summer movie season sounds like a potential blockbuster, but nothing about Self/less indicates that it was crafted with anything other than weekday-afternoon cable airings in mind. It feels like a refugee from a 2005 straight-to-video bin, with a predictable and uninvolving plot (about a dying billionaire who’s offered the chance to inhabit a new, younger body) stitched together from elements of other sci-fi movies.

Director Tarsem Singh brought uncommon visual flair to studio junk like Mirror Mirror and Immortals, but the look of Self/less is bland and anonymous. Reynolds is serviceable as the post-transformation main character, although the script never gives him the chance to delve into the situation’s potential emotional complexities. Ben Kingsley shows up for about 15 minutes as the terminally ill billionaire, and his wild, inscrutable accent is the most entertaining element of this rote, forgettable thriller.

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