Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley) one of the richest men in the country stands in his gorgeous penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park. He later meets with some associates involving a 200 million dollar deal at which he proves his knowledge and power in the world of business. Sometimes the saying is true that what appears on the outside to society can be totally different than what is on the inside. Unknown to many including his daughter Claire (Michelle Dockery) Damian is dying of cancer and his days are very limited. His relationship with Claire was never that of a father daughter especially since as a child Claire never got to spend time with her father. Claire now older and the leader of a non-profit green coalition Damian still tends to look down on her choices in life.
Damian has been researching a very private and somewhat unknown new shedding technology run by Albright (Matthew Goode) at the Phoenix Biogenics Corporation. He questions why the company is so secret to which his answer is, wrong question. The bigger question to Damian and everyone else is if you feel immortal. Does anyone live forever? According to Albright, yes! He can allow a person to live a new life and leave the past in the past. Sounds tempting for many I’m sure but for what price and proven results. When Damian decides to move forward with the procedure he had asked Martin (Victor Garber) his friend and business partner to stay at the Hale Corporation but Martin replied not without Damian. Loyalty runs deep within their friendship even after Damian is pronounced DOA.
Soon after entering the Phoenix Biogenics Corporation Damian has entered into a new body, once originally known as Mark, a military man with a wife Madeline (Natalie Martinez) and daughter Anna (Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen) but after waking up he is now known as Edward (Ryan Reynolds). After training and learning his new identity, Edward lives in New Orleans and makes some new friends including Anton (Derek Luke). Edward is thrilled with is new look and continues to eat peanut butter, jog, party, sex with several women and last but not least always listen to his alarm to take a red pill. Without taking his medicine or skipping a dose Edward begins to discover who Mark was even though he knows that inside he is still Damian with a name known as Edward. Making sense it should because the writing is not hard to follow in this story even though it is quite intriguing.
When Edward continues to have memory flashes of his past he decides to follow his gut and look for answers. The problem here is that the company and Albright will not let this happen and because of that anyone in the path of Edward aka Damian will die. Even so Edward follows his instinct which leads him to St. Louis which in turn causes a fight to the finish for Edward to stay alive even while dealing with two minds in one body. According to Albright even when you purchase a new car it usually has a few miles on it. Problem is Damian had no clue that his purchase was ever used and this created a fight to the finish. A fight in which lead him to Professor Jensen (Thomas Francis Murphy) and his role within the Phoenix Biogenics Corporation and eventually back to his friend Martin for help and the protection of Maddy and Anna. In this fight for survival and true identity the biggest question would be who can he trust? In life every medical procedure has a cost and for Damian his procedure cost him his life in a game well played by Mark which in the end contained all the ingredients needed for life on a small island in a world well known by not one but two.
The film is well directed and smartly written containing several twists and turns that are not too difficult to comprehend. Considering the violence I was surprised the film was not R yet Pg-13. I guess mainly since the slew of lines did not ever contain the infamous F word. Some phenomenal car chases and crashes add too much of the excitement but the real true stability is the dialogue which I thought worked extremely well.
Reynolds is phenomenal showing off not only is good looks but his expressions and will to truly take on a role and make it good albeit in this case several character roles. Kingsley is great, I’m a huge fan and I only wish he had more screen time than what his role permitted. He truly adds presence to his dramatic roles. Garber too I am a fan of ever since “Titanic” yet in this case the ship has become a corporation. Dockery has a small roll and seems to do well with it but honestly I think anyone could have filled her shoes and even with a bit more conviction to her character, Martinez and Kinchen surely shine as co-stars in this story along with Goode who may not have a lot of screen time but seems to do well with it. Overall a smart film that tends to move along well from beginning to end. Written and enjoyed especially for Reynolds and the maturity he brings to the story with 3 out of 4 paws.