The Adam Project (2022)

The Adam Project
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Catherine Keener
Seen on: 11.5.2022

Adam (Walker Scobell) is twelve years old and a bit of a nerd. Since his father (Mark Ruffalo) recently died, he lives alone with his mother (Jennifer Garner) on a remote bit of land, dreaming of becoming cool. Or at least not bullied anymore. That’s when a space craft crashlands close to his home. And out of that spacecraft steps nobody else but himself – only 30 years older (Ryan Reynolds). Older Adam is on a very important mission. And he needs Young Adam’s help to finish it.

The Adam Project is fun enough. I like time travel stories in general, and this one is very sweet, albeit not terribly creative or ground-breaking. But it comes with a solid emotional core that makes it quite touching.

The film poster showing close-ups of the main characters in front of a space background.

The Adam Project isn’t all that interested in the science fiction of its premise or in time travel per se. It’s not a big brainy “let’s explore timelines or how time travel could work” mindfuck. It is in fact, a family film that is much more interested in the emotional connections between its characters. Or rather, within a character – it’s mostly about Older Adam and Young Adam relating to each other, that is: Adam relating to himself.

We see how harshly Older Adams sometimes judges his younger self, and how he also tries to make up for what he now realizes are mistakes he made as a kid. But we also see how Young Adam can see the good sides of Older Adam’s life, even when Older Adam can’t see that anymore. It’s a sweet interaction that both actors do very well.

Young Adam (Walker Scobell) and Older Adam (Ryan Reynolds) walking through the forest together.

This emotional side of the film is offset a little by the snarky comments that keep coming both from Older and Young Adam. Reynolds’ is a bit more self-assured in his deliveries, it comes with a lot of ease to him, and no surprise – it is what he usually does. Scobell’s delivery is less confident and the timing is often ever so slightly off. Why I don’t think this was a deliberate directing choice, it works for the character anyway, so it didn’t bother me that much.

I did expect a little more of the fun action than of the emotional family drama, but I can’t say that I mind what I got. The Adam Project may not be a mega hit, but it is a good watch, will entertain and tug on one or the other heartstring. Things could definitely be worse.

Young Adam (Walker Scobell) watches Older Adam (Ryan Reynolds) treat his wound.

Summarizing: sweet and fun, but mostly sweet.

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