The Adam Project

Ryan Reynolds’ time traveling comedy has heart and nostalgia.

Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy, who both had a worldwide success with “Free Guy” last year, reunite for the made-for-Netflix Sci-Fi action comedy “The Adam Project.” Both comedies allow the actor to show his comical and wisecracking attitude, even at a PG-13 rating, but “The Adam Project” also shows his emotional side. It’s proof that even after he gave his “Deadpool” character a new attitude, he can still be serious, as he is being funny.

Neither “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” nor “Red Notice” got that message, and “The Adam Project” also serves as a throwback to some of the best 80s movies like “Back to the Future,” “E.T.,” “The Last Starfighter,” and a little bit of “Star Wars.” It almost reminds me of how nostalgic and old fashioned JJ Abrams went in “Super 8.” In fact, this is a movie both he and Steven Spielberg would adore. At this point, Levy and Reynolds both have chemistry, and are able to reach new heights on various genres.

The movie stars Reynolds as a pilot named Adam Reed, who manages to dodge his enemy Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener) to travel from 2050 to 2018 to prevent time travel from existing. Yes. Time travel exists. However, the chase messed up his coordinates and ends up in the year 2022, where he meets his 12-year-old self.

This youngster (Walker Scobell) has the same mannerisms as Ryan Reynolds, especially when he’s rude to his mother Ellie’s (Jennifer Garner) dates, and picks fights with his school bullies. Those moments can be a bit overwhelming, but like Troye Sivan in “Three Months,” he has his reasons for his behavior.

He’s struggling to get over the loss of his scientist father Louis (Mark Ruffalo), who perfected the time travel formula. The Reynolds Adam Reed has to reunite with his soon-to-be dead father, and has to bring the boy with him. And he also has to find his wife Laura (Zoe Saldana), who also went back in time.

“The Adam Project” has a good sense of humor and a lot of heart from the two leads, who both play the same character with different attitudes. The Reynolds Adams regrets being a jerk as a kid, while Scobell reminds him he’s criticizing himself. Outside the bantering, they both have truth and versatility that proves there’s more than meets the eye. And I really appreciated that.

You also get some fine supporting work from Garner, Ruffalo, Keener, and Saldana, as they try to expand their horizons, instead of succumbing to the cliches of their characters. All these characters have originality, the kind that nobody had in another Sci-Fi flick “Moonfall,” which thankfully bombed the box office.

The movie’s soundtrack has hits that “The Guardians of the Galaxy” would enjoy from “Gimme Some Lovin'” by The Spencer Davis Group to “Let My Love Open the Door” by Pete Townshend. I’ve always loved Pete Townshend’s hit, and I’m glad it’s a favorite from both Adam and his Louis.

The reason why I said it has a little bit of “Star Wars” in it is because Adam’s weapon looks like a lightsaber, like Darth Maul’s combined with Mace Windu’s. I know we saw that in 2002, but you got to admit that’s pretty nostalgic.

There’s also a “13 Going on 30” reunion between Garner and Ruffalo that fans will enjoy a whole lot. It happens during a flashback scene, and it made me smile with reminiscence. Of course, there can’t be a scene when they reunite and kiss, because Louis has to go Doc Brown on the two Adams. “I can’t know the future.”

Looking at this made-for-Netflix feature, I still wonder what so many streamers saw in “Red Notice,” because that heist comedy was mean-spirited and convoluted compared to the heart and energy of a movie like “The Adam Project.” I know this will be a hit on the site, and I should hope so.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4.

Streaming on Netflix Tomorrow and Now Playing in Select Theaters

Categories: Action, Adventure, comedy, Drama, Sci Fi

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