REVIEW: ‘The Adam Project’ is Kick Ass Sci-Fi with Emotion

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The Adam Project

The last time Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds crossed paths, worlds collided, and Free Guy was born (I mean, technically, in the film, Guy was written in code, but you get my point). The film was warmly received by critics and fans alike as it delivers within that range of just being a bloody fun film. Now Levy and Reynolds return once more for The Adam Project on Netflix, so let’s dive in and see if this dynamic duo can recreate that magic in a bottle.

The film tells the story of a time pilot called Adam who is being chased back through time in order to find someone important enough to change the future, against the wishes of the current government. Leaving 2050, Adam lands in the year 2022 after being shot down mid-time stream. He must now rely on the one person he knows and trusts: himself. But with his previous employer on his tail, it’s a high octane race to correct the past for the sake of the future.

I grew up watching a lot of sci-fi as a kid, and there was always something that attracted me to those stories, and those characters, that not only left me entertained but left me wanting to watch them repeatedly. The Adam Project left me with that very same feeling. It crafts a very tall tale of time travel, kick-ass action sequences, and sci-fi technology complete with stunning visuals, yet at its core, the film goes beyond its primary mission.

While Adam went back in time to find someone to help him, he inadvertently got a chance to revisit his past. The profoundness of The Adam Project caught me off guard. As a parent, I have often been left with this realization that being a parent is a flawed job that you have to figure out every single day without any idea of what the hell you are doing. Reynold’s version of Adam recognizes this opportunity to provide insight to his younger self (played by Walker Scobell) that while he’s busy running around causing fights and getting suspended, his family around him is hurting.

The film is packed full of these genuinely heartfelt reflective moments of wishing for those moments back so you could do it over, to be open with the people around you. Again, I wasn’t expecting the gut-punch of emotion that both Levy and Reynolds had worked into the film, but damn, it pays off.

Speaking of Reynolds, I don’t think it would surprise anyone reading this to find out he’s just as charming and as captivating as he always is. His dialogue plays into the actor’s strengths, so expect a lot of fast-talking witty jokes. If you’re not a fan of this, then this movie will absolutely not be for you, but then you likely already knew that.

The big surprise of the film was the newcomer, Scobell. Yes, that’s right, a brand new talent yet to be unleashed on the world until now. Scobell was so natural in front of the screen, and he manifests this sense of mischievous exuberance. Scobell doesn’t shy away from what was needed from him for the role or the fact that he had to play a younger version of one of the biggest stars in the world. In fact, it’s uncanny how alike he is to Reynolds’s own acting style.

The film also sees a 13 Going on 30 reunion for Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, who play Adam’s parents. While both have minor roles in the film, their impact on screen is more than felt, with the veteran actors reinforcing the quality of the story.

Sadly, my biggest knockdown of the film comes in the face of the visuals being used, namely the de-aging technology. Now I won’t give away specifics, but when you see it, you’ll know. The entire film had such immense special effects and crafts a brilliant buffet of sci-fi wonder to gorge on, but that de-aging is poor, and it features a lot in the third act of the film.

The Adam Project will undoubtedly be a big hit for Shawn Levy, Ryan Reynolds, and Netflix. The film goes beyond its sci-fi time travel tropes and delivers some wonderful character-rich performances. I was unprepared for the gut-punch of emotion layered into the story and the heart with which Reynolds packed into the role. A very successful outing for newcomer Walker Scobell, and a lot of great performances all around. There are some wonky visuals in the third act, but overall a damn good sci-fi film that will be sure to entertain!

The Adam Project will be available exclusively on Netflix Friday, March 11th.


The Adam Project
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

The Adam Project is undoubtedly going to be a big hit for Shawn Levy, Ryan Reynolds, and Netflix. The film goes beyond its sci-fi time travel tropes and delivers some wonderful character-rich performances.