by Julian Spivey
Director: Shawn Levy
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell & Mark Ruffalo
Runtime: 1 hour & 46 minutes
The hardest films to review are the ones you come out of feeling, “that was fine.” It’s because you don’t have a whole lot to rave about and you also don’t have much to complain about. Director Shawn Levy’s “The Adam Project,” starring Ryan Reynolds, is fine.
“The Adam Project” is a science-fiction action movie that’s Netflix’s current flavor of the month. It stars one of Hollywood’s most congenial actors these days in Ryan Reynolds giving what I hear is a very Ryan Reynolds performance (he’s honestly not an actor I’ve seen in a whole lot, so I’ll take the word of others on that). He’s re-teamed with Levy, whom he just did last year’s “Free Guy” (which I also hear is “fine”) with, on the film about a fighter pilot Adam Reed in dystopian (it’s always dystopian!) 2050 who time travels back to current day 2022 (even though he was aiming for 2018) in an effort to stop time traveling from happening because of all the trouble its led to in his world. His dad Louis Reed (Mark Ruffalo), who died when he was around 11-years old, accidentally developed a way to time travel and his business partner Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener) took advantage of it and basically runs the world in 2050.
When Adam reaches 2022, he runs into his 12-year old self, played by Walker Scobell, who was coping with the grief of his father’s recent death by running his mouth a lot causing bullies to beat him up. Twelve-year old Adam reminds me a lot of what I suspect a pre-teen David Spade might have been like. In addition to stopping time travel adult Adam is also trying to find his wife Laura (Zoe Saldana), who is presumed to have died in a time traveling accident, but Adam doesn’t believe it to be true. He’s right.
Reynolds and Saldana don’t have a whole lot of screen time together, but they do have terrific chemistry making the scenes they’re in lovely to watch.
The film really picks up about halfway through when both Adams meet up with their father in an effort to stop Sorian. This also leads to one of the more annoying parts of the film where 2050 Sorian, played by Kenner as her current 62-year old self, teams up with her 2022 self, which is done by CGI that just doesn’t seem right. I’m not even sure I’d call the CGI bad. I just don’t really like the idea of seeing actors and actresses as their younger selves on screen via technology. There was an entire interesting article written by Sam Adams in Slate about this deepfake.
“The Adam Project” makes for a breezy, less than two hour watch if you’re just wanting to pass the time and check out something new. I don’t really feel like it’s something anyone is going to feel the need to watch a second time – unless you’re just really a major Reynolds fan.