Sorry, Ryan Reynolds: Self/less Is 'Point/less'

Actor's 'bland' performance tops off a generally bad movie: critics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2015 11:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ryan Reynolds can't catch a break. Not only was he hit by a car this year, but he can't seem to find his rhythm on screen. In Self/less, he plays the younger form of a wealthy powerbroker who swaps his cancer-riddled body for a newer model and a second chance at life. What critics are saying:

  • Self/less has an interesting premise, but "degrades it by turning it into a generic thriller, and finishes it off with a rushed, disjointed ending," writes James Berardinelli at ReelViews. He says the flick is overflowing with material, but is too rushed and seriously lacking in character development. It's "too badly made to entertain audiences in search of escapist entertainment and too insulting for viewers hoping for more," Berardinelli concludes.
  • "Any hope Reynolds had of reviving his stardom with Self/less is as fruitless as thinking a person can swap bodies without consequence," writes Peter Howell at the Toronto Star. He calls the acting "bloodless, which is appropriate to the theme, I suppose." As for director Tarsem Singh, "he seems singularly uninspired—a chase scene on a highway looks like a bunch of Hollywood stuntmen demonstrating how they do chase scenes."

  • "Singh once seemed an original, but Self/less doesn't have a distinctive bone in either of its bodies," writes Mark Jenkins at NPR. For this flop, he partly blames Reynolds, and describes his character as "a slab of beef so bland he might be mistaken for tofu." But that's just one problem. Self/less also "raises provocative questions about identity and then doesn't think about them at all."
  • Ann Hornaday's take: just, no. Self/less is "a tiresome game of cat and mouse, padded with cliched fight scenes, car chases, and shootouts," that "bears not a trace of Singh’s signature visual richness," she writes at the Washington Post. "Reynolds does his dogged best to look serious and sincere, but he can't rescue a film that flounders almost from its first moments." This flick "could just as easily have been called Brain/less, Pulse/less, and Point/less."

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