More often than some might realize, a majority of Netflix’s big budget films are mostly forgettable, even though they may feel appropriately fine for their streaming service. These films come and go the second the credits roll, as the streamer offers you a variety of films or shows they recommend you watch next. Hell, even some of their films don’t appear on the streamer’s main page for more than the day after launch due to their algorithm (but that’s a problem for all streamers releasing new content). However, leave it to director Shawn Levy and star Ryan Reynolds to create one of the year’s early surprises in The Adam Project. Blending elements from Back to the Future, Star Wars, and even Finding Nemo, The Adam Project is a sci-fi gem that’s a must-see on day one on Netflix for families.
The Adam Project runs around 95 minutes and wastes no time in setting things up. Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds), a time-traveling pilot, goes back to the year 2022 and encounters his younger self (Walker Scobell) while on a mission. Together, they both must save the future by reconnecting with their late father (Mark Ruffalo) and avoid people from the future who are after them. While this story features plenty of action and humor, as you would expect with anything Ryan Reynolds is attached to, The Adam Project has a surprising amount of emotional depth that leaves an impact on its viewers long after the light come up in the theater.
While Reynolds brings the same comedic chops we’ve seen in almost all his other work, his performance here adds a layer of emotion as his character experiences grief and change through the years. Add in his buddy duo with a younger version of himself played by Walker Scobell, and it makes for not only great chemistry, but depth and understanding for each version of himself at different stages in his life. In smaller roles, Jennifer Garner as Adam’s mother is great, especially since we have not seen her in anything notable as of late. Catherine Keener as the film’s antagonist will remind you that she always has been an underrated actress. And Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana are good, even if their appearances in the film are brief. However, their roles have bigger effects on the character of Adam than you might expect at first.
The only blemish with The Adam Project is the CGI, at times, in the film’s final 30 minutes. While there is plenty of noticeable CGI used throughout the film, the CGI in one particular set piece feels out of place compared to the rest of the film. However, that shouldn’t deter anyone from viewing this film on Netflix this weekend. The Adam Project is one of Netflix’s strongest big budget films, and it puts all that money to good use. A satisfying adventure from start to finish, this is easily Ryan Reynolds’ finest and well-rounded film to date. More films like this is exactly what I hope to see from Reynolds in the future, though hopefully it will be a brighter future than the one that opens this film.