Year: 2015
Production Co: Endgame Entertainment
Director: Tarsem SIngh
Writer: David Pastor/Alex Pastor
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Kingsley, Matthew Goode, Derek Luke, Natalie Martinez

When you learn this film was directed by Tarsem Singh, memories of the eye-catching The Cell (2000), Immortals (2011) and particularly his passion project The Fall (2006) will spring to mind, and if you expect a similarly arresting visual experience here you might be disappointed. The Indian born director has made a straight thriller that bears none of his previously iconic pictorial languages.

It's a philosophical story about memory, identity and what makes us what we are wrapped up in a chase movie as rich industrialist Damian (Ben Kinglsey) consults with enigmatic Albright (Matthew Goode), a scientist who owns a company catering to the very rich. Damian has learned that he has less than six months to live thanks to the cancer eating him alive, and Albright's dark art will transpose Damian's mind to a new, young and healthy body for a price.

Albright assures the older man the bodies are provided ethically after being grown in a lab, but when Damian wakes in his new form (Ryan Reynolds), he starts to wonder.

At first things are great. He moves to New Orleans, dates a string of beauties, enjoys health and fitness and lives in a mansion befitting his wealth. But if he stops taking the prescribed medication he keeps seeing images in his head that feel like memories – of a woman, a young girl and an idyllic rural house.

Damian decides to go off the reservation to find out the truth behind the body he's now inhabiting, and when hired goons with guns come after him, it seems to prove not only that things aren't as they seem, but that Albright and his operation has secrets worth killing for.

The film morphs into a pretty generic chase thriller from then on, and there are no special effects or flashy scenery beyond some pretty standard thriller tropes like car chases and some gunplay.

There isn't a lot more exploration the film can take about the central idea (other than just another scientists-are-evil Prometheus tale), but the framework makes for a thriller that constructed well enough. It's a new direction from a director we know as a visualist – whether it's a good one or not will depend on what you're hoping for.

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