The Adam Project is a comedic sci-fi film directed by Shawn Levy and stars Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldaña. The movie tells the story of Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) who mistakenly travelled back in time to year 2022 to look for his wife, Laura (Zoe Saldaña) who previously travelled to the year 2018. In year 2022, he met his younger self (Walker Scobell).
The Adam Project feels like a combination of Back To The Future and some Marvel movies with elements borrowed from Star Wars. Action scenes were accompanied by beautiful computer graphics that bring the whole sci-fi world of the movie to life. Although it explores a complex topic like time travel, The Adam Project is easily digestible to even younger audiences as it makes the plot straightforward, and explains the time travel concept in a succinct manner, sufficient for a general audience. For example, the villain’s objective is direct and the implications of her actions are easy to understand. However, in order to achieve this, The Adam Project sacrifices its potential to be more than a simple feel-good film. This may very well be a choice made by the writers to suit the general public, but audiences could finish the movie feeling like it could have been something bigger and better.
One of the potential reasons for choosing a simpler plot could be due to the other themes incorporated in the movie. The theme of family values was subtle in the first half of the movie, but became the main anchor towards the last 15 minutes. Audiences can easily relate to the regret of unintentionally hurting parents when they were a kid. Also, regardless of whether they could relate to the pain of losing a family member, Ryan Reynolds’ and Mark Ruffalo’s performance would definitely make the audiences feel something. The were also brief but strong moments between Adam and Laura that displayed the strength of their relationship. Ryan Reynolds and Zoe Saldaña’s chemistry really took the spotlight in those moments, making up for the lack of development in their relationship in the first place.
The Adam Project’s main strength lies in the performance of its A-list actors. Even though the context is completely different, Ryan Reynolds was essentially playing himself in the shoes of Adam, and that makes for very strong comedic moments. His chemistry with younger Adam played by Walker Schobell was also a huge driver, particularly in the first half of the movie. It is amazing to see the newcomer Schobell holding his own in the same screen as Ryan Reynolds. Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo were extremely solid, giving powerful emotional performances as they played the role of a regretful father and a grieving mother.
6.5 / 10
An amazing family movie with action scenes to keep you at the edge of your seat. However, it tried to be too much without cohesively blending all its themes and ideas.