A jam-packed time travel movie with Ryan Reynolds playing Ryan Reynolds. Amongst the chaotic plot and recycled humor, we wonder if this movie is worth the watch.

Another Ryan Reynolds movie but this time, make it Sci-Fi.

Netflix can’t get enough of Ryan Reynolds as he returns with another Netflix original where he plays himself. Shawn Levy and Reynolds’ Sci-fi comedy, The Adam Project, nods to other time travel classics but also attempts to make its own mark on the Sci-fi genre. However, how original can a movie be with Reynolds starring in it? Reynolds is notorious for playing himself in pretty much every movie he is in. We have sadistic superhero Reynolds, crafty art thief Reynolds and now witty time travelling pilot Reynolds.  

Aside from the generic choice of male protagonist, The Adam Project has something bigger to deal with: time travel. It is well known that time travel is dangerous to play with, especially when using it as a plot for a movie. There are risks of plot holes, confusing story lines and leaving the audience feeling overwhelmed. Classics like Back to the Future and Terminator are the blueprints of time travel movies and The Adam Project does well to remember that with its nostalgic references. With that being said, how did the movie hold up against these stakes?

Too Much Plot

We’re plunged into the movie with Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) frantically attempting to escape his timeline. He unsuccessfully succeeds his mission as he ends up in 2022 but he was aiming for 2018. Upon arrival he stumbles across his 12-year-old self; a smart-mouthed, quippy young Adam Reed (Walker Scobell) who perfectly embodies Reynolds’ personality. We soon find they’re both dealing with loss: younger Adam grieves his late father (Mark Ruffalo) and older Adam searches for his wife, Laura (Zoe Saldana) who is lost in time.

However, there is almost no time to sympathise as the film’s main villain, Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener), dramatically appears. What follows are action packed scenes, the two Adams team up, Laura randomly arrives to the save day and some sentimental moments amidst all of the chaos. Eventually, the Adams flee to 2018 to warn their scientist father (Ruffalo) of the dangers of time travel in order to prevent him from ever creating it. Confused? So are the rest of us.

It becomes apparent that the real problem isn’t plot holes but the storyline; it’s overcrowded and we’re not sure what to focus on. It feels like four movies packed into one with the emotional, action and comedic scenes blending into a confusing concoction. We barely have time to dwell on the deaths of beloved characters or chuckle at comical one liners because our attention is seized by the next flashy sequence.

The eye of the storm

Nevertheless, there are rare gems of moments where the movie slows down and you get a feel of the characters. The bar scene between Adam and his mother (Jennifer Garner) is one of those moments that must be applauded. In this scene Adam is no longer Ryan Reynolds but Adam Reed, a time travelling pilot who misses his mother. Perhaps if there were more steady scenes like this, it would have captured our hearts rather than leaving us dazed.

Should you watch the movie?

Whether you enjoy the movie is dependent on what you are expecting. If you love Reynolds and all the variations of himself, this is the movie for you. You are sure to find it humorous and you may even overlook the crammed story-line. If you’re searching for a light-hearted watch with the family, this a good movie to go for. This futuristic fantasy has so many elements that the whole family would be able to find some aspect they enjoy.

However, if you’re seeking an intelligent and well-written Sci-fi, you’re better off stepping into your own time machine and returning to the Spielberg or Cameron classics.


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