Focus Features’ newest flick has a 30 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with some reviewers denouncing its underdeveloped script and others pardoning Reynolds for his inability to execute a solid performance.
Alonso Duralde wrote in his review for TheWrap:
“Ben Kingsley plays a New York real estate mogul who pays big bucks to have his consciousness microwaved into Ryan Reynolds‘ body in ‘Self/less,’ but the real reheating of leftovers has already occurred: this new science-fiction thriller borrows the foundation of a much better film — John Frankenheimer’s 1966 ‘Seconds’ — and strips it of any larger meaning.”
Brian Tallerico of Roger Ebert wrote:
“Clearly, this is thematically dense stuff, from the way the 1 percent uses the desperate needs of the poor to their own advantage to a reliance on pharmaceuticals to stay happy and alive. Yet every time ‘Self/less’ feels like it’s going to actually explore one of those themes and give them more than lip service as plot details, it pulls back to standard, genre fare, both narratively and visually. ‘Self/less’ is one of those depressing affairs that gets less and less interesting as it progresses.”
Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly wrote:
“‘Self/Less’ suggests plenty of questions about the nature of identity, the morality of scientific exploration, and the price of aging. But the script, penned by brothers David and Alex Pastor, doesn’t craft characters complicated enough to engage in those concepts. Instead, once the non-twists of ‘Self/Less’ start unraveling, the film becomes little more than a series of chases and super-boneheaded plot holes.”
Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote:
“Reynolds can be charming and effective as a leading man in both comedy and drama, but his somewhat glazed expression and tweezed good looks can work against him. The cast, including ever-reliable Victor Garber as Hale’s longtime friend and colleague, does what it can.”
Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian wrote:
“Ryan Reynolds does the best he can with the material. He is inherently likeable, so we’re quick to accept him as a do-gooder ready to fight the baddies at the centre of this trickery. Indeed, there’s hardly a whiff of his former self once he changes bodies. If this were a better movie, this could be a launching point for all sorts of theological discussions.”
“Self/less” opens in theaters on July 10.