Directed by Shawn Levy, whom directed movies like “Night at the Museum” and “Free Guy,” “The Adam Project” is a time travel science fiction movie starring Ryan Reynolds. Coming from the future, Reynolds’s character accidentally crash lands in the year 2022 and has to team up with his twelve year old self to save the future. A classic action and time travel movie, “The Adam Project” offers reasonable entertainment without much substance.
For better or worse, Ryan Reynolds once again delivers exactly what audiences expect: he plays a loud-mouth action hero that is more preoccupied with quips and remarks than demonstrating any acting skills. Audiences that simply want to be entertained will be more than satisfied with Reynolds’s shameless, cash-grab, rehash of a portrayal. Walker Scobell, who plays the 12-year-old version of Reynolds’ character does a great job at imitating his charisma and delivery. Sadly, this means that the movie might have a little too much Reynolds at times.
However, while Reynolds does not break new ground with his acting, he connects with Scobell perfectly. The scenes where the two of them have emotional conversations about their shared life are the highlights of the movie and far out-weigh the comedic and even action elements of the finished product. A greater focus on the human components of the cast would have benefitted the movie as whole, as opposed to focusing on marketable and audience-tested components.
As a science fiction movie, “The Adam Project” is not particularly very visually memorable. With the exception of some stylish aircrafts, everything else in the movie is fairly forgettable. Action sequences are good enough but never excel beyond anything audiences have not seen before. Several items are practically stolen from other, better science fiction movies. Overall, the movie has the usual standard visual quality of a Netflix movie but at the same time blends itself with other similar movies making it hard for “The Adam Project” to stand out.
When it comes to plot, the movie struggles greatly. The story seems to be guided by convenience and cheap writing rather than characters’ motivations or any sort of logic. The main characters seem almost passive observers of the action and plotting. In addition, the tropes utilized in the movie are far from original. While there is nothing wrong with doing such a thing, “The Adam Project” falls into clichés and conventions without providing anything new to audiences. This makes the movie feel derivative and unoriginal. It is far too easy to imagine that the entire script was written after the main gimmick of the movie was established.
Nonetheless, the movie does have some merit. Audiences will no doubt be entertained for the duration of the feature mostly due to the chemistry between Reynolds and Scobell. The movie is at its best when the two converse about meaningful topics that end up translating to the most moving moments on screen for this movie. While the action and art direction are not stellar, there is still enough care and craft put into them to stop viewers from tuning out mid-movie. It would not be inappropriate to describe the movie as “good enough”.
“The Adam Project” is mainly unimpressive if not disappointing. Audiences looking for a thought-provoking science fiction film will be better served looking elsewhere. The storytelling can be choppy and event absent at times, but specific moments offer some redemption to keep the movie from being a complete flop. The movie has some heart and it carries itself as if it does. There are worse ways one can spend an hour and a half of their time.