Updated: Aug 1, 2022
Ever since the release of Deadpool, there has been a steady demand for more Ryan Reynolds films, and he shows no signs of slowing down. With Deadpool, Deadpool 2 and Free Guy, the Canadian actor is becoming more relevant by the second. And his newest venture, The Adam Project, is probably his best acting performance since Deadpool.
Adam Reed is a 12 year old kid that regularly gets his mouth into more trouble than its worth, being suspended from school for fights 3 times since his father, Louis Reed passed away in a car accident. Adam is just minding his own business in his home when a bright light catches his eye outside. With curiosity getting the better of him, he goes to to the garage to find an older version of himself bleeding on the ground. Now knowing that Young Adam knows that time travel exists, there are people after the Future Adam in order to maintain control of time travel. Left with no other options, it is up to the combined efforts of both Adams to prevent time travel from ever existing.
This is definitely a film where you both know what to expect, but also keeps you guessing. As there is a time travel element to the story, I do appreciate how it is not necessarily explained in depth, like another time travel film, Looper. They explain it briefly without getting into the nitty gritty of how confusing it actually is. Other films such as Primer could have made this an engaging but all too confusing film if they wanted to focus on the science of time travel, but luckily like Future Adam in the film, the filmmakers brush it off in favor of the simplistic approach.
With the simplistic approach to the film’s science, they were able to completely submerge the story with the film’s heart. As the film deals with grief and how it affects families, especially at different points in our lives. We see a Young Adam become rebellious without his father figure around, and giving his mother hell, even if he doesn’t truly mean to. Additionally, we also see how grief affects him if it goes unresolved for 30 years, as Future Adam becomes resentful towards his father and regretful of how he treated his mother. It is actually quite touching to see it from both perspectives simultaneously as it allows for both of them to process their grief and heal from the wound their father’s passing left.
Even with the sci-fi elements and the heart worn of its sleeve, the film is well balanced from big action sequences to tender heartfelt moments. There were several instances where I cried from how relatable some of these moments were and how genuine they were portrayed. A moment early on is when Future Adam is getting a drink at a bar when his mother walks in. She is struggling to get a handle on Younger Adam and his rebellious faze and Future Adam gives her some reassuring words that would help connect with Younger Adam. It brought a tear to my eye and honestly made me wanna give my mother a big bear hug. Having quiet moments like that surrounded by notable action sequences such as the climax really level out the film, even if the pace can become extremely quick at times.
There are some good performances in this film as well, particularly Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell as Future and Younger Adam respectively (I will refer to Reynolds as Future Adam and Scobell as Younger Adam just to avoid confusion). Reynolds definitely delivers possibly his best performance since Deadpool, being able to remain his funny sarcastic self but also adding deep levels of grief and sorrow to his character, which I honestly didn’t expect. But of course, the breakout star Walker Scobell steals the show. Practically being a clone of Reynolds in every way, especially with his sarcastic and witty demeanor being nearly identical to his costar; seriously, Scobell even has the opening to Deadpool 2 memorized, enough said.
I will also say that there were some characters I wish had more screen time than they were given. Some characters were promoted to be a big part of the cast but were ultimately only in the film for a few minutes. The biggest offense was Zoe Saldana’s Laura Shane, she was the main reason for the film to even begin but she only get like 5 minutes of screen time before being abruptly killed off near the end of the second act. She could have been such an interesting character, but she was quickly introduced and was sent off just as quickly. How disappointing.
The Adam Project acts more as a family film than it does a sci-fi action adventure, being a vessel for processing grief and how family connects us through space and time. Ryan Reynolds gives a phenomenal performance and shows that he can be more than just quips and a pretty face. But Walker Scobell steals the show as the younger version of Ryan Reynolds we didn’t know we needed. The action is great and inventive, along with enough heart to make even the manliest of men cry. Whether you watch it by yourself or with your family, The Adam Project will certainly tug at all the right heartstrings.