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Self/Less - The Stranger in You

Self/Less - The Stranger in You

USA 2015 - with Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley, Matthew Goode, Natalie Martinez, Derek Luke ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Self/Less
Genre:Mystery, Thriller, Action
Direction:Tarsem Singh
Cinema release:20.08.2015
Production country:USA 2015
Running time:Approx. 118 min.
Rated:From 12 years

He is heavily wealthy and extremely successful professionally. But there are some things that money can't buy. Billionaire Damian (Ben Kingsley) must learn this firsthand when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Yet there is still so much he wants to accomplish and get done before he passes away. As it turns out, his wealth could actually help him. Because with a new, top-secret technology, the consciousness of one person can be transferred into the body of another. With this procedure, called Shedding, eternal life is theoretically possible - as long as the financial means are sufficient. Damian doesn't hesitate long to agree to participate in the procedure. And so he soon awakens in a younger body (Ryan Reynolds), to which he must first get used during a long period of therapy. Afterwards he is supposed to start a new life as Edward and enjoy his regained youth. But he is repeatedly plagued by visions that appear to be snippets of memories of the original owner of Damian's new body. But as he begins to try to get to the bottom of them, he is already putting his dearly bought life at risk. After all, Shedding is supposed to remain a secret - at any cost...

Tarsem Singh is known for extravagant films with unusual effects, a distinct splash of colour and eccentric costumes. The great fantasy drama The Fall, which unfortunately went completely under in the cinema, is probably the best example of this. But his penchant for more unusual entertainment cinema was also evident in the hit thriller The Cell. Tarsem Singh picks up elements of this thriller again in his latest film Self/Less - The Stranger in You. Here, too, the spirit of one person enters the body of another. But this time things are much less eccentric and surprisingly conventional than in the filmmaker's earlier works. The unfortunate consequence of this is that the imagery isn't strong enough to distract from the dramaturgical weaknesses.

And unfortunately, those aren't exactly a rarity over the course of the nearly two-hour running time. Surely, logic shouldn't be demanded of the basic idea anyway. But at least such a story set in the realm of fantasy should be told in an exciting and rousing way. And that's exactly what the film fails to do at all in some places. If Singh had picked up the pace in some moments and used the scissors in other scenes, this body swap could have been really extremely exciting mystery cinema. As it is, however, the many positive aspects are repeatedly overshadowed by unnecessarily tough and dramaturgically weak moments, which of course also has an effect on the overall impression in the end.

No question, the action sequences are well to very well executed and the actors - above all Ryan Reynolds - also do a really decent job. And also the imagery is very stylish and atmospheric in its own way. Still, as a viewer you keep getting the feeling that this movie is selling itself way short and could have been a lot bigger and more exciting. And that's a real shame given the inherently very high entertainment value of the story. So it can be said that Self/Less - Der Fremde in dir is not a bad movie. It's far from that. But in the end it's just a nice, visually successful entertainment film that could have been much more. The exciting suspense cinema that's hidden somewhere here comes out too seldom to be able to assert itself against the tough weaknesses. Therefore, in the end, there is only with small deductions still a: Worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


  • Self/Less - The Stranger in You
  • Self/Less - The Stranger in You
  • Self/Less - The Stranger in You
  • Self/Less - The Stranger in You
  • Self/Less - The Stranger in You
  • Self/Less - The Stranger in You
  • Self/Less - The Stranger in You
  • Self/Less - The Stranger in You
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