The Adam Project (2022)

When Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) travels back from 2050 to put right what once went wrong (urm, wrong show, sorry!), he instead manages to crash land in 2022 where his 12-year-old self (Walker Scobell) is dealing with both the school bullies, the recent death of his father (Mark Ruffalo), and a mother (Jennifer Garner) not quite sure how to deal with either of their griefs. Older Adam, on the other hand, is dealing with a whole pile of people trying to drag him back to the future (yeah – wrong franchise again!), and a bleeding/farting bullet wound. Oh yeah, and being reminded off all the stuff that went wrong in his childhood, natch.

The pair team up to continue older Adam’s mission, which has more twists than he – or the viewer – first suspect. Cool future tech meets car chases. And can I just say, either Ryan Reynolds or director, Shawn Levy, has quite the lightsaber obsession – that’s two movies in a row, guys 😉

This movie looked designed to tick all the right boxes for me – sci-fi, action, time travel, Ryan Reynolds – and I am very relieved to say that it was both a huge amount of fun and also surprisingly crammed full of heart. I like Reynolds as an actor, but as the never-serious advertising for this movie even stated, he does always seem to be playing himself. That’s still true here, but the best he’s done so in a while, with that mix of pathos and very slightly reined-in humour (not sure the farting bullet wound really fit the tone, but it isn’t too jarring, either).

Better yet, we now have newcomer Walker Scobell also playing Reynolds, or rather young Adam – and he is brilliant at it. Watching the spot-on characterisation is second only to watching the pair interact.

And as I said, there’s so much emotional depth to what otherwise could have been a fluffy sci-fi action. Adam’s pain and how that hardens into anger, and then the mirror-bouncing of all of it between the pair – so well done. But yes, still action – great fight scenes with the honest-not-a-lightsaber-plus – and a decent take on the time travel trope.

There are elements that maybe would have benefited from a little more attention to really round out the world building and story, but instead the approach is a pretty unrelenting pace and a runtime thankfully not overstaying its welcome in the slightest.

It’s not Oscar-bait, but for a fun Friday night movie it was top notch. Recommended.

The Adam Project posterReleased: 11th March 2022
Viewed: 11th March 2022
Running time: 106 minutes
Rated: 12

My rating: 8/10

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