A fun adventure that makes up for its messy stylistic mashup with great action and a surprisingly amount of heart thrown in amongst all the comedy.

The Adam Project is a lot of things; it’s a sci-fi-action-comedy about a pilot from the year 2050 who travels back in time to 2022 and must team up with his 12-year-old self in order to save the future. While I found it to be a bit of a mess, stylistically speaking, as it often feels like a bunch of other movies stitched together like Frankenstein’s monster, it was nonetheless an enjoyable time and typical of what I expect from a movie starring Ryan Reynolds.

After making a narrow escape from pursuers in the year 2050, wise-cracking pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) uses his time jet to travel back in time to search for his missing wife and fellow time traveling pilot, Laura (Zoe Saldaña). There’s just one problem: he was supposed to travel to the year 2018 where his wife was last seen but mistakenly ends up in 2022.

When Adam’s time jet won’t let him make another time jump to 2018 due to injuries sustained from his escape from 2050, Adam must team up with his equally wise-cracking 12-year-old self (Walker Scobell), whose matching DNA and uninjured body can activate the jet. With deadly pursuers from the future hot on their trails, both young and older Adams must work together if they are to find Laura and save the future from the time traveling technology invented by their scientist father, Louis Reed (Mark Ruffalo).

By now we’ve seen enough Ryan Reynolds movies to know he doesn’t stray far from his lane. He’s Ryan Ryenolds in every movie, but we enjoy watching him because he’s charismatic, handsome, witty and simply fun to watch on screen. I’m a fan. Well, you get all that charisma, handsomeness, wit and fun as you would expect in any other Ryan Reynolds movie, only this time he’s “Ryan Reynolds the time traveling pilot” who gets to bond with his younger self. He delivers exactly what you expect. Nothing more, nothing less.

Walker Scobell is pretty well cast as young Adam as he looks like he could be Reynolds at age 12 – if you ignore the hair color difference. This is his first feature film and gives a solid performance (given the genre) of a boy dealing with the death of his father and is bitter towards his mother, Ellie (Jennifer Garner), while dealing with the loss. Unfortunately, the dialogue given to his character lessens his performance as the writers have given him the same amount of wit as adult Adam. This results in very unnatural and unconvincing lines coming from a child who talks just like an adult Ryan Reynolds. It doesn’t really work.

Director Shawn Levy (Free Guy, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb) has made a very fun but stylistically messy movie that blends several genres into some kind of blockbuster stew. But instead of gelling together well, The Adam Project feels like it’s skipping between the genres that it’s borrowing from, and only when the plot needs it to. It’s still enjoyable as there’s plenty of action, CGI eye-candy and witty dialogue (see: Ryan Reynolds) to make it a visually pleasing pop-corn flick, but the style transitions can feel awkward when they make you feel like you’re suddenly in a different movie.

The Adam Project isn’t brilliant, as far as time travel movies go, but it’s still a fun adventure that makes up for its messy stylistic mashup by having an engaging tone, great visual action and a surprisingly amount of heart thrown in amongst all the comedy. It’s your typical Ryan Reynolds movie, for better or worse, so if you’re a fan of his particular *ahem* style of performance then you’ll definitely have a good time watching this one do its thing.

  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Release Date: March 11, 2022
  • Distributor: Netflix

Originally published on March 20, 2022 at https://www.popzara.com/movies/vod-reviews/the-adam-project-2022/