Film: ‘The Adam Project’ (Streaming on Netflix)
Duration: 106 minutes
Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Catherine Keener, Zoe Saldana, Alex Mallari Jr.
IANS Rating: ***1/2At some point in our lives, we wish that we could change something about the past or get a glimpse of our future while this is practically impossible in real life, the options are plenty in time-travel sci-fi films, where characters cross time and space using parallel universes, advanced technology, or simply unexplainable magic. There are infinite possibilities that make this genre interesting and appealing.
In this case, it is 2050, and time-travelling fighter pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) turns rogue in his universe and crash lands on Earth in the backyard of his house in 2022, where he teams up with his 12-year-old self (portrayed by Walker Scobell) on a mission to save the future, this sounds implausible but the way the film is executed, it is impossible not to get sucked into the narrative and root for Adam.
The 12-year-old Adam is endearing. After the loss of his father, Louis Reed (Mark Ruffalo), who was a scientist working on a project that could alter the future, Adam who was small in stature but tactless and blunt, was often bullied by his classmates which resulted in him fighting his oppressors and being suspended from school.
While during his third suspension, his mother, Ellie Reed (Jennifer Garner), goes on a date with her colleague leaving him alone at home with his dog Hawkin. After a strange sound emits in his backyard, young Adam investigates and finds a stranger in his garage.
The stranger happens to know everything about young Adam – on further quizzing the stranger- the twelve-year-old Adam realises that the man is himself, in the future.
Being fascinated with how his life will turn out in the future, he exploits all its possibilities with delicious abandon, deriving considerable humour from the situations they are in. They bond like friends, with the older Adam guiding, the young Adam on how to deal with bullies. It is only after some time that older Adam reveals how he met his wife and his motive for time travel.
Apart from having all the tropes of the sci-fi time-travel genre, the story is packed with emotions where the two brothers vie for their father’s attention. The film has its heart in the right place and touches on subjects of loss and reconnection. The quirky one-liners further make the film amusing and appealing. One of them is Ellie complaining, “Babies grow up to be teens and assassins of happiness,” it certainly generates a chuckle.
Adding to the pleasure is the performance of the energetic and affable Walker Scobell. He definitely is the novelty factor that keeps you glued to the screen. He appears charming and intelligent in every frame.
Similarly, Ryan Reynolds has his appeal, and his on-screen chemistry with Scobell is amazing. The duo is also aptly supported by other A-listers like Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Catherine Keener, and Alex Mallari Jr. They have their moments of on-screen glory.
The film has action-packed sequences that are astutely choreographed and engaging. But there are moments in the third act that could be a little tedious to absorb with all the heavy soundtrack accompanying the action.
Despite being mounted with ace production values, the spacecrafts and the weapons are hardly impressive. Nevertheless, it would be virtually impossible not to enjoy the film, in some way or another.