The Reel Review

B+

A fighter pilot (Ryan Reynolds) from the year 2050 travels back in time to 2022, where he teams up with his 12-year-old self on a mission to find his astrophysicist father and save the future, in this family-friendly Netflix sci-fi/comedy from director Shawn Levy (Free Guy). 

Walker Scobell and Ryan Reynolds in The Adam Project.

The Adam Project is VERY formulaic and features a phony-looking main set that looks a little too much like a soundstage. Those negatives aside, this kid-friendly riff on Guardians of the Galaxy, The Terminator and Back to the Future has a winsome cast that includes Reynolds, Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo and a remarkably spot-on Walker Scobell as a preteen version of Reynolds’ character. Not only does Scobell look like Reynolds – he also captures his trademark snarky humor shockingly well.

Mark Ruffalo and Ryan Reynolds in The Adam Project.

The Adam Project also showcases an impressive array of futuristic visual effects, well done CGI work to differentiate the younger and older versions of the villain (Catherine Keener), and some remarkably well-choreographed fight scenes – all of it much better than expected for a Netflix film. The high energy, vintage pop songs in the film are also fun. Even so, it is the tender, heartfelt moments about loss and heartache that make The Adam Project most noteworthy. Its message, that anger does not prevent sadness, is an important one.

REEL FACTS

• Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy also worked together on 2021’s Free Guy and will team up again in Deadpool 3.

Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner in 2004’s 13 Going on 30.

• Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo also starred in the 2004 time travel rom-com 13 Going on 30.

• Born to a military family, Walker Scobell says Deadpool is one of his favorite movies.

 

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