As longtime Doctor Who fans, with a fondness for the Back to the Future and Terminator franchises, we were intrigued by the trailer for the new Netflix movie, The Adam Project. (out now) The film stars Ryan Reynolds as a time-traveling pilot from 2050 named Adam Reed who crash lands in his own past in 2022 to rescue someone, and then has a chance to save society as a whole. His main partner in the adventure is his 12-year-old self, and they also get the chance to deal with some family trauma along the way. What results is a fun mixture of action, comedy, and soap opera, wrapped up in a bright colorful package, aided by a classic rock soundtrack. In other words, it's just the distraction we need.
The Adam Project features an all-star cast that besides Reynolds includes Zoe Zaldana as someone close to adult Adam, Catherine Keener as the baddie, and Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo as Adam's parents. These folks are all pros, and all of the on-screen combinations work well, even if the supporting cast doesn't get enough time to make as much of an impact as we might have liked. The one exception is Ruffalo, who leaves his mark in a quick fashion and already has us daydreaming about future Deadpool - Hulk interactions in the MCU.
You know what you're going to get from Ryan Reynolds in a movie. He's largely a wise-ass who uses humor to cover his pain. The Adam Project is no different, so how you feel about that will probably decide how you feel about the movie as a whole. There may not be much range in his performances, but he's good at what he does, and he carries the movie well. His interactions with "Young Adam" (played by Walker Scobell) are entertaining, and it's fun to see the small asthmatic kid in awe of his future self, until he realizes some of the baggage he/they have been carrying for 30 years.
Time travel is always a sticky issue in any story, but The Adam Project does a good job of touching on the implications of Adam visiting his own past, without getting lost in the weeds. Basically, someone corrupted the fixed timeline, Adam has to change that, and no one involved should really know much of anything about their future.
The Adam Project is a fast-paced 80's style sci-fi blockbuster that will entertain you for 1 hour and 46 minutes, even if some of the details start to fade as soon as you turn it off. If you're looking for some mostly light entertainment, that touches more on loss than we might have expected, this is the movie for you.
Final Grade: B+
A little bit of something for everyone. (pic via binged.com)
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