The Novice Cinephile

Exploring the world of cinema one film at a time.

The Adam Project (L to R) Ryan Reynolds as Big Adam and Walker Scobell as Young Adam. Cr. Doane Gregory/Netflix © 2022

The Adam Project is a time travel story that sees Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds), a pilot from 2050, get trapped in the year 2022 on his quest to save the future. Once in the past, he meets his younger self, a 12-year-old Adam Reed (Walker Scobell). They must work together to restore the timeline after a mysterious threat endangers all of reality. Is The Adam Project worth watching, or is it better left as a relic of the past? Here are my spoiler-free thoughts.

The latest Netflix Original is a solid film that focuses on our two Adams. Reynolds and Scobell both deliver solid performances as Adam Reed, especially since they’re playing variations of the same character. Walker Scobell is a standout because he’s able to walk the line of cute and snarky in a way that makes him truly feel like a younger Ryan Reynolds. The kid is talented and owns this role. I can’t wait to see what else he does in the future (pun not intended). The rest of the cast is solid as well. Veterans like Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, and Zoe Saldaña round out the main cast. All are great with what they are given. Director Shawn Levy (Free Guy) brings a sense of fun and nostalgia in a way that’s reminiscent of an 80’s film, but the movie suffers from an identity crisis.

The Adam Project (L to R) Mark Ruffalo as Louis Reed and Walker Scobell as Young Adam. Cr: DOANE GREGORY/NETFLIX © 2022

The film wants to be an action film with incredible space battles. Still, it also wants to be a story about self-discovery and the relationship between the old and young Adams. It wants to be a family dramedy with Ruffalo, Garner, and Saldaña. The Adam Project aims to be many different things but struggles to pull all of these elements together. Things start to feel cliche, and it loses steam by the end. The film is not bad by any stretch, but it lacks that hook to keep you invested all the way to the end.

The opening moments are engaging, and the premise is interesting, but the film just doesn’t capitalize on these larger themes and ideas. There’s a fantastic movie buried deep inside, but it never really shines through. If you’re looking for a movie that the family can enjoy over the weekend, The Adam Project is a good watch, but I just don’t see it being a story you revisit after that initial viewing.

The Adam Project hits Netflix on March 11th, 2022.

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