As soon as I saw that The Adam Project is an action science fiction movie starring Ryan Reynolds I knew everything about it. I knew that Ryan will be playing Ryan and that there will be explosions, witty remarks, and all the other shit. Shiny, forgettable, and just enough entertainment to be worth a watch. After all, you probably already have a Netflix subscription so the choice is pretty clear. After a hard day of existing, movies like this help us to zone out and they do have a purpose.
We start with every possible cliche in the book about a young teen. Adam is sassy, smart, has asthma, and has problems with bullies. Oh, and he lost his father a year ago. However, before he died he bought him a special net so he can play catch with himself in the yard. Of course, the family has a dog aptly called Hawking making sure that those target keywords are properly hit. He’s also got this swanky new VR set and a cool joystick to play his video games.
Long gone are the days of living in the trailer park and playing space invaders. After all, he was The Last Starfighter. On a personal note, I’m almost forty years, working two jobs and still can’t enjoy the full VR glory of Elite Dangerous. So, this is every possible eighties science fiction movie wrapped into one. I also forgot to mention that time travel is possible. Why, because of reasons, that’s why. I can’t wait to hear about the pitch meeting for The Adam Project. So, you’ve got a movie for me?
The movie “borrows” so many scenes and concepts from other movies that you can play a fun game guessing which one is they’re ripping off now. The plot is a watered-down version of TimeCop only without the screen presence of Jean-Claude Van Damm’s mullet. And most of the action scenes are lifted directly from Star Wars.
They use almost every trick in the book to get that coveted PG-13 rating. I don’t know how turning a 12-year-old into a cold-blooded mass murderer fits into all of that but what do I know. And while all of this is quite entertaining, you will be yelling come on at the screen several times. Along with a couple of obligatory eye roles.
Young Adam lost his father more than a year ago and he’s still trying to process that fact along with his mother Ellie. One night he hears a strange sound coming from his yard so he decides to check it out. He finds a wounded man in his shed wearing a pilot’s uniform. Only, it would seem that this pilot came from the future.
After all this bashing, I have to highlight that The Adam Project does offer some interesting motives. Grief, regret, and the benefit of hindsight are explored here and lord Satan knows we need to explore these issues. However, all of them feel underdeveloped and heavy-handed. Last Shawn Levy/Reynolds cooperation gave us a much more streamlined and authentic Free Guy. Plus, that was a much bigger project.
Despite all the cool special effects, this one feels like a quick cash grab. You can notice the green screen sets and lack of production values. I counted four regular sets with most of the attention going to quite impressive Sorian headquarters. So, if you have nothing better to do and a Netflix subscription, you might want to check this one out.
Director: Shawn Levy
Writers: Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Catherine Keener
Fun Facts: Originally, the movie was titled Our Name is Adam and set for release in 2013 with Tom Cruise in the lead role.
IMDb Link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2463208/