The Adam Project is a glossy amalgamation of much better action-adventure fare.
This review of the Netflix film The Adam Project does not contain spoilers.
The Adam Project starts with your typical Ryan Reynolds snark cannon. As he tries to outmaneuver his boss, Maya Sorian (the great Catherine Keener), he gives her a couple of those classic “Reynoldsisms” in a short period. It’s impressive he has enough time to fly the jet and come up with pithy retorts. But they try, and boy, do they ever try, to fit in as many as they can in a short time. Almost everything about The Adam Project, Reynolds, and director Shawn Levy (Free Guy) feels forced and unnatural. And when the science-fiction film does begin to entertain, you realize it’s a glossy amalgamation of much better action-adventure fare.
That’s not to say The Adam Project isn’t good. If anything, it attempts to give the audience its money’s worth. And with Netflix’s price increase, you appreciate the hard work. Here, Reynolds plays Adam Reed, a time-traveling pilot trying to save the world by going back in time to fix past mistakes. He does so by accessing a wormhole of his creation and crash lands in the present-day 28 years earlier. From there, he crashes into a forest near the home where he grew up. He meets his old yellow labrador (wouldn’t you have killed for him to be named Hugh Jackman?) and himself at the tender age of twelve years old (newcomer Walker Scobell).
One would think since he hit a type of hyperdrive button in space circa 2050, it would be a strange coincidence to land near his home. Or an amazing coincidence. Then again, you wouldn’t get to set up a fairly standard plot when it comes to fixing mistakes when it comes to family in the time travel genre. Here, Adam’s father (Mark Ruffalo) died a year or two prior. He is now being raised by his single mother, Ellie (Jennifer Garner). The adult Adam has a thing or two to teach his younger self. Like how to give his mother a break. He has plenty of regrets since losing his wife (Zoe Saldaña) a couple of years back. Well, actually in the future, but big Adam’s past, not the tinier version. You know what I mean.