In The Adam Project, Ryan Reynolds must face his younger smart-mouthed self to save his love, his family, and the future
‘The Adam Project’ finds Ryan Reynolds as a fighter pilot who must travel back in time from a troubled future to find out what happened to his wife Laura (Zoe Saldana). Along the way he accidentally runs into his younger self and discovers many of the problems in his time were not just by chance and have very specific origins in the past.
The movie gave me quite strong ‘Timecop’ vibes with a small hint of ‘Back to the Future’ which is a good thing. But while those films chose to stick to such time travel tropes as ‘same matter can’t occupy the same space’, the director chose the altogether more fun route of letting everyone get together and cause havoc with no consequence!
Time travelling movies never go out of style. The ability to go back and have a ‘do-over’ is something we all long for. As a genre, it’s been approached from every angle, with a comical approach in the vein of the ‘Bill and Ted’ series, right through to more serious action and dramas like ‘Terminator’, ‘Looper’ and ‘The Butterfly effect’ to name but a few. This is a very well represented genre of film. These movies always remain popular within sci-fi as they speak directly to our imagination, our sense of wonder and ‘what if’?
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‘The Adam Project’ sees Ryan Reynolds reunite with his ‘Free Guy’ director Shawn Levy in the hopes of following on from their previous success together. But where that leaned heavily into comedy, I’d categories this as a sci fi action drama. There are some funny and comical parts, but the crux of the film is serious as it deals with some heavy topics. Primarily loss of loved ones and how issues relating to their loss can linger and affect us for a lifetime.
Ryan Reynolds stars as the older version of Adam Reed and continues to play the character it seems he was born to play – the good looking, wise cracking, very likable action hero. Have we seen this all before from Ryan? Honestly yes. But the truth is, he does it so well and we enjoy watching it. He delivers what we expect from him but at no point does he appear to be just going through the motions. He is fully committed and invested in this character, and he still has that star power that lights up any scene he is in.
Sitting on the other side of the table from Ryan is Walker Scobell as the younger Adam. He’s tasked with presenting us with a believable younger version of Ryan Reynolds and he does a fantastic job. He shares almost as much screentime as Ryan and on numerous occasions must trade quips and ‘one liners’ with the Hollywood star.
Now, while the lines are written for the characters, it’s still possible for a younger actor to not have the timing, delivery or to just get swallowed up in a scene when dealing with a master of charisma like Reynolds. But Walker steps up and manages to go toe for toe with Ryan, never being overshadowed.
The movie has a great quality supporting cast including Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Gardner and Zoe Saldana. Their parts aren’t simple cameos as they are integral to the story and really help to add some depth and layers to proceedings which is always nice to see. There is nothing worse than waiting for your favourite actors’ part in a movie only to see them flash by on screen for 2mins.
This is a science fiction film, so I’d be wrong not to mention the special effects. There have been complaints over the quality of special effects that come from films not produced by major film studios and most of the time they are justified. Decent special effects come at a cost which is why many smaller film studios chose to stay away from the genre and instead stick with more traditional story telling.
Netflix are intent on taking on the ‘big boys’ and over the last few years have done their utmost to up their ante in this area. The improvements are clear to see on screen as during those scenes, you really feel like you are getting a premium experience ‘light show’.
Director Shawn Levy seemed to have as much fun designing weapons as he did when making Free Guy, including Adams’s main weapon which looks suspiciously like a double-sided light saber! From car chases and shoot outs, to larger space crafts and fighter jet chases, everything looks, feels and sounds like they should, meaning I was able to remain emersed in the experience throughout.
The Adam Project is looking like 2022’s first big hit film for Netflix. It has a time travel story that’s easy enough to follow. Add some interesting and diverse characters with two likable leads swapping wisecracks and you end up with a great mix. The action is solid and being able to reconcile past issues with the ones we have lost is sure to bring a tear to a few eyes. A few more ambitious actions set pieces may have pushed it into the Blockbuster category but what we have here is still a true delight with plenty of heart.
Official trailer below