While The Adam Project Can Be Flat in Action, It Strikes an Emotional Chord

While on a weekend binge of consuming multiple shows and movies, The Adam Project was one of the movies I decided to watch in my time. With a cast that includes Ryan Reynolds, Zoe Saldana & Mark Ruffalo, along with the creative mind of Stranger Things and Free Guy’s Shawn Levy, it was certainly worth a shot. While The Adam Project doesn’t deliver anything super memorable that makes itself different from other sci-fi blockbusters, it does deliver a fun, light-hearted story with a creative concept.

The concept of time travel has been addressed throughout cinema history in so many different ways. Movies like Back to the Future, Terminator, Groundhog Day, and an endless list of movies make it seem like the concept has been milked. However, The Adam Project brings a new concept within the concept of time travel to that list. Reynolds’ character, Adam Reed, goes back in time and unexpectedly works together with his much younger self to try and reverse actions that sent the world into an unshown dystopia. 

The concept of working with a version of the same character is extremely interesting, especially when that character is both a child and a middle-aged adult. While the execution of the interpersonal relationships between the characters of past and future is done really well, it’s the rest of the movie around those characters that doesn’t necessarily land. The plot can get quite confusing at times and convoluted as many time-travel movies struggle with. Action scenes are cookie-cutter and don’t have anything super interesting to them. Stereotypical hand-to-hand combat and vehicle chases fill the majority of fight scenes with witty banter that accompanies most of Reynolds’ works. Along with a climax that doesn’t really deliver a punch that becomes easily forgettable.

What the movie is truly built on is the relationships and relatable human emotions shown throughout the movie. While young Adam Reed, played by newcomer Walker Scobell, deals with the death of his late father, the older version of him played by Reynolds teaches him an important lesson of not allowing grief to become an excuse for poor behavior. To prevent a bitterness created that a mature version of one’s self could only be aware of. But it’s not a one-way street as the younger Adam teaches the older version of himself important lessons as well. It’s an interesting dynamic as the same person teaches himself a lesson over decades of learning and mistakes.

It’s the interpersonal relationships, lessons, and interactions that do make The Adam Project extremely charming and emotional. While bland action scenes don’t add to it, it’s those slow moments of just dialogue and familial connections through time that make this movie enjoyable and memorable for most. While The Adam Project isn’t the best thing I’ve watched this year, it still makes a mark in different ways. I also can understand why this could be someone’s favorite movie from this year due to that emotional impact.

The Adam Project is currently available on Netflix and in select theaters.

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