TL;DR – While it is not doing anything revolutionary, what is there, is perfectly fine.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix subscription that viewed this movie.
The Adam Project Review –
There are many things a film can be, it can be revolutionary, it can be a disaster, or worse still, it could just be boring. But then a film can also just be okay, not dull, still perfectly watchable, yet not looking to shake anything up. Today, we look at a film that fits into this category, full of neat things, but not a whole lot else.
So to set the scene, we open with the very ominous phrase “time travel exists, you just don’t know it yet”, as, in 2050, a fighter pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) blasts into the atmosphere and makes a time jump as another ship tries to shoot him out of the sky. In 2022, Adam Reed (Walker Scobell) is running for his life after mothing off to several bullies. His mother, Elli (Jennifer Garner), picks him up from school because he was also suspended even though he was attacked. As his mum goes out for a date, a crash explodes in the forest behind the house, and that is when Adam finds Adam sitting in his late father’s garage.
The first strength of this film is the casting, which is a necessity given how small the main cast is. Ryan Reynolds plays a very on-brand Ryan Reynolds character, which is fine because it works in this context. Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner are both excellent in supporting roles as the parents in this scenario, they are not prominent roles, but you buy every moment. The real stand out is Walker Scobell, who plays the young Adam. He has to go toe-to-toe with Ryan Reynolds, and not only does he succeed, but he also straight-up steals some of the scenes he is in.
From a narrative perspective, I liked that they made it clear about the rules for this particular time travel world and made it clear that they are a bit fuzzy about it. That time only resets itself when someone goes back to their fixed point, allowing you the flexibility in the moment while still having the potential consequence dangling there. The bad guy is not particularly memorable in their motivations, and I was hoping they would do a bit more with the role before the end, but alas, it was still serviceable. It was nice to see some homages to some of the kids/blockbuster films from the 80s and 90s with references to E.T. and Independence Day, to name a few.
Unfortunately, the production was a bit hit and miss at times, which did hold it back in places. Firstly, most of the action scenes were top-notch, which helped sell a lot of the narrative. Some of the effects, like the PG-13 friendly way people die, were not revolutionary, but they worked for Buffy, and they worked here. There were some digital replacements here and there, like the pickup truck, and the third-act destruction worked well. However, they didn’t nail the de-aged Catherine Keener, which unfortunately didn’t work on any level.
In the end, do we recommend The Adam Project? Well, look, this film is perfectly okay. Honestly, I don’t think I would seek it out again, but I would still stay and watch it if someone put it on. If you liked The Adam Project, I would recommend Free Guy.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Adam Project
Directed by – Shawn Levy
Written by – Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett & Mark Levin
Music by – Rob Simonsen
Cinematography by – Tobias Schliessler
Edited by – Dean Zimmerman & Jonathan Corn
Production/Distribution Companies – Skydance Media, Maximum Effort, 21 Laps Entertainment & Netflix
Starring – Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Catherine Keener, Zoe Saldaña, Alex Mallari Jr., Braxton Bjerken, Kasra Wong, Lucie Guest, Donald Sales, Esther Ming Li & Ben Wilkinson
Rating – Australia: M;
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