Ryan Reynolds is a talented actor, but he doesn’t get to flex his acting abilities very often. Most of his recent film roles are all variations of his trademark sarcastic humor, from Deadpool to Free Guy, and now to his latest film release, The Adam Project. The upcoming Netflix release is entertaining enough, but it lacks the depth of his other popular roles. Let’s take a closer look at our spoiler-free review of The Adam Project.
Shawn Levy handled directing duties for The Adam Project. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Levy directed Free Guy, a number of Stranger Things episodes, and the Night at the Museum films. While Reynolds and Levy are teaming up again shortly after Free Guy, there’s one big difference, and that’s the writing team. Where Free Guy felt fun and fairly original, The Adam Project retreads a lot of familiar ground, which is where it ultimately falls short.
The Adam Project follows Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds), a time pilot from the future who travels back in time and ends up running into his younger self (Walker Scobell). Adam’s widowed mother (Jennifer Garner) is doing the best she can after his father (Mark Ruffalo) passed away. Adam is on a mission to stop time travel from ever being invented, but as you might expect, it’s not that simple.
Clocking in at a little over an hour and a half, The Adam Project does not waste time on the little things. It moves swiftly from one action sequence to the next, deliberately avoiding too much explanation or exposition. What you end up with is a fun and action-packed adventure that’s easily forgotten shortly after the credits roll.
The only character development comes in the form of Adam, but there are two of them, so that’s kind of cheating. Jennifer Garner adds a fair amount of emotion to the proceedings, carrying the film any time the action sequences take a break. Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana (playing Adam’s love interest, Laura) work well during the limited time you’ll see them in the film, and there are a good number of winks, nods, and Easter eggs to multiple pop culture films like Star Wars, Back to the Future, and more.
There’s really a lot to enjoy in The Adam Project, it just needed another 20 minutes to flesh out the story, and add some depth to any character not named Adam. The main antagonist, Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener) has a lot in common with Biff Tannen, but her only motivation is wealth and power. She’s a two-dimensional character who never gets more than a few sentences of what could just as easily equate to diabolical laughter. We never even get to see more than a few fleeting seconds of the future Adam is so desperately trying to change.
The cast of The Adam Project is great, the action is on point, and while not every joke lands, it’s an entertaining film. If the writers had just added a bit more depth to the proceedings, this would have been a home run for Netflix. As it stands, The Adam Project is a great way to spend 90 minutes of your night, but you may struggle to remember what you watched the very next day.
About The Adam Project
Synopsis: A time-traveling pilot teams up with his younger self and his late father to come to terms with his past while saving the future.
Director: Shawn Levy
Writers: Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana, Jennifer Garner
Runtime: 1 Hour, 46 Minutes
Releases: March 11, 2022 (USA)(Netflix)
Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.