The Adam Project Review
Streaming today on Netflix is The Adam Project, a sci-fi action-adventure that reteams Ryan Reynolds with director Shawn Levy, (Free Guy). Here Reynolds is up to his usual wisecracking smarmy schtick playing a pilot named Adam, who travels from the future and accidentally meets his 12-year-old self (Walker Scobell). Adult Adam isn't thrilled to encounter his younger counterpart, since his younger self only serves as a reminder of the pain he endured in his youth and the regret he feels with how he handled the grief of losing his father (Mark Ruffalo), by making life incredibly hard for his mother (Jennifer Garner). But he's forced to put all of that aside and work with his younger self because the fate of the world and time travel as we know it is at stake...for reasons.
In pursuit of Adam is his late father's colleague (Catherine Keener) who has found a way to abuse time travel and basically hold the world hostage over it. Adam decides his only option is to travel to before time travel had been discovered by his father and prevent his future from ever happening. As a sci-fi film, The Adam Project is certainly entertaining but fairly forgettable. It's got some fun action sequences here and there, but the overall conflict the story revolves around is weak. The film apparently lived in development hell for years, and it definitely shows that it went through some rewrites. Certain storylines aren't given the depth it seems like was intended, and it just doesn't come together as it should. The Zoe Saldana storyline in particular should have been fleshed out a lot more.
But that's not to say that The Adam Project doesn't have anything going for it. Walker Scobell is surprisingly great in channeling his inner Ryan Reynolds, meanwhile, Reynolds himself, though still doing his usual thing, gets to inject a bit more under the surface than he normally gets to with portraying the unresolved issues of his complicated relationship with his parents. Jennifer Garner has a small but key role here and is wonderful. It's also lovely to see her reunited with her 13 Going on 30 co-star Mark Ruffalo and to see them share a sweet scene together. Overall, the film's real strength is its surprisingly tender moments focusing on all of the relationships at the core of the film. As an adult, it feels cathartic to see Adam work through his issues with his parents as well as his younger self and even get a second chance for closure. Though maybe you came to this film for some mindless fun, you leave having witnessed some surprisingly poignant and sweet moments. Essentially, what makes The Adam Project really worthwhile in the end is its heart. Oh, and the less said about the super creepy nightmare fuel-inducing de-aging CGI the better.