As a movie-lover, I’ve seen a lot of them, especially action-adventure films. Very few of them, however, are ones I would watch again. Too many of them are rehashing the same plots, messages and themes that films of the past have.
“The Adam Project,” released on March 11 on Netflix, is a Sci-Fi action film directed by Shawn Levy, who has directed movies such as the “Night at the Museum” movies, “Real Steel” and recent hit movie “Free Guy.” The movie’s protagonist, Adam Reed, played by Ryan Reynolds, is a time-traveling pilot from the future who travels to the past to save the future. The plot is nothing groundbreaking, and yet it steered clear from the boring old clichés of similar sci-fi movies. The message is something that most movies these days stay away from:the relationship between parents and their children. Very early in the movie the audience is shown the dichotomy of Adam’s feelings towards both of his parents from when he was twelve to when he is older. This subplot creates a powerful message of understanding parents’ love and their actions.
My biggest problem with a lot of action movies today is that they rely too much on comedy. Marvel movies are a perfect example of this. I shouldn’t be laughing during the final battle to save the universe from the Mad Titan Thanos who wants to wipe out half of the population of all living things. I feel like that is something that should be taken a little more seriously. When Reynolds is on screen, I know I’m in for a laugh, but I was concerned that the story wouldn’t take itself seriously enough when it needed to be. However, I was worried for nothing. The movie was funny, but when it came down to the serious events and elements, it was serious, which made the characters feel more real.
The weakest link in “The Adam Project” was the villain, Maya Sorian played by Catherine Keener. Sorian was a billionaire sponsor of the project that created time travel. In the future, she runs the world and rules with an iron fist. She became a narcissist obsessed with her own gain, but that was the extent of her character. The film does not explain how she got to where she was and why. We don’t learn what drives her lust for power. Sorian doesn’t develop as a character throughout the movie. She remains stagnant in her beliefs and views from beginning to end. Overall, she is just a plot device that could have been filled by anyone.
The cast of “The Adam Project” is absolutely stacked with Marvel superhero stars like Ryan Reynolds, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldaña and other famous actresses like Jennifer Garner and Catherine Keener. But the actor who single handedly stole the show from all these big names and sold the plot was Walker Scobell, who played Adam’s twelve-year-old self. Scobell managed to imitate Reynolds’ humor that we all know and love which made it believable that Scobell’s character is a younger version of Adam.
“The Adam Project” is one of the best stand alone movies I have ever seen. The plot was excellently paced and it managed to fit everything in in just under two hours. It’s not a long movie by any means so I never got bored and it doesn’t need three hours just to tell a good story. The dialogue was funny at times, but it took it seriously when it needed to be which made the characters feel real and relatable. Levy as a director is on a roll recently, with the very good stand alone film “Free Guy” (2021) and now “The Adam Project.” I’m looking forward to seeing what else Levy can give us.