The Adam Project (2022)
March 11, 2022 6:13 PM - Subscribe

After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) teams up with his 12-year-old self on a mission to save the future.

Directed by Shawn Levy (Free Guy, Stranger Things). A Netflix original.
posted by DirtyOldTown (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This looked fun, then I read a review that said it was very lackluster.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:58 PM on March 11, 2022

We enjoyed it. Nothing too deep, but there were some action, some nice special effects and, without too many spoilers, the father/son stuff was actually decent.
posted by gudrun at 7:23 PM on March 11, 2022 [2 favorites]

If you like Ryan Reynolds being Ryan Reynolds… this is great. (My family clearly likes Ryan Reynolds.)

It’s a movie about self and family and growth. Well worth it.
posted by m@f at 9:30 PM on March 11, 2022 [3 favorites]

With not very tough killer robot ninjas that blow up with a blue glow when swiped with a fake light saber. Bit of light apocalypse savior fun. Got about half way before getting sleepy so will post again with time travel paradox spoilers later. ;-)
posted by sammyo at 5:46 AM on March 12, 2022

This is the kind of enjoyable but ultimately forgettable multi-quadrant middlebrow thing Hollywood used to do so often that we took it for granted. And now that they're largely terrible at it anymore, and people still have families and need to find something to watch with their kids/older parents/aunts/uncles/cousins, this feels like a real treat, even if in the end, it's not especially terrific or anything.

Weirdly, it reminded me of Flight of the Navigator in that while it was positioned to be a rollicking FX romp, it kept getting weirdly sad in places. Still funny overall, though.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:20 AM on March 12, 2022 [11 favorites]

What I couldn't reconcile was that if they got rid of the bad lady, then wouldn't that make it so his dad maybe didn't get in a car wreck on his way to work? I mean, it was never actually mentioned, so I guess he dies on the way to the university gig. But still, wouldn't the lack of his original job have shifted things so his dad coulda made it through?

I just wanted the dad to make it through, I guess. But I guess that would've changed young Ryan. But didn't young Ryan change anyway? Time-wimey stuff is always fraught with this stuff for me. I have questions about Tenet, too.
posted by valkane at 3:37 PM on March 12, 2022

Just watched it, enjoyed it enormously. Perfect Saturday night viewing.

It's also available with Welsh subtitles (Ryan Reynolds is now co-owner of Welsh football club, Wrexham).
posted by humph at 3:45 PM on March 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

Time-wimey stuff is always fraught

Oh this will be the best time travel flic to see if the movie logic pundants can reconcile how the rules of TT were affected by the emotional plot quirks. ;-)

The best super mcguffin was the giant swirly time machine itself, it also generated a super strong magnetic field that grabbed whichever bad robot ninja was needed to be grabbed by the next plot point but ignored any ferrous object until it needed to be activated on an emotional beat.

But yes all things (best not logically) considered, a sweet film, perfect for afterschool.
posted by sammyo at 6:41 PM on March 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

This is the kind of enjoyable but ultimately forgettable multi-quadrant middlebrow thing Hollywood used to do so often that we took it for granted.

Very much this. I have a friend who laments regularly that there is a vanishing middle class of movies — he avers that there is only microbudgeted independent art house flicks and quarter-billion dollar franchise instalments. Well, here is what he is looking for.

Pleasant enough, maybe 10% quippier than it needs to be, but Walker Scobell, the actor playing young Adam, does an entirely passable representation of being a tiny perfect Ryan Reynolds.

Director Shawn Levy was not a name I could place, but he also did the recent Free Guy and is slated for the next Deadpool movie, which seems like a good fit. (And I fully expect a joke there about Deadpool, son of Bruce Banner and Elektra Nachios, being married to Gamora.)
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:53 PM on March 12, 2022 [6 favorites]

I thought it was extremely entertaining and a lot more heartstring-pulling than I thought it would be. Watched on a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon and it was the perfect thing. Ryan Reynolds is very Ryan Reynolds and it works. It starts out very The Mandalorian, segues into Horizon Zero Dawn, and ends with a bit of Field of Dreams.
posted by the webmistress at 8:16 PM on March 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

My 12yo son was an extra in this movie! Didn’t appear on screen but we spent an interesting day on set during the height of COVID in Burnaby, BC.

The final scene between Ruffalo and Reynolds really got me in the feels. And Walker Scobell was impeccable - sweet and snarky in all the right ways.
posted by alicat at 10:53 PM on March 12, 2022 [8 favorites]

It’s later than you think.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:06 AM on March 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Amazon Prime is currently streaming The History of Time Travel, which presents a similar story but as a "documentary," (a documentary that morphs even as you're watching it).
posted by SPrintF at 9:43 AM on March 13, 2022

This is silly and kind hearted, just what I needed. It is "product," though.

It's silly enough that the time travel stuff isn't serious, and it calls itself out on that.

The bullet-hole fart is legit.

Was the wristwatch a 'Timecop' reference (and a '13 Monkeys' (TV) reference)? The hoverboards were very the 'Highlander' sequel that never got made in Argentina.

I was almost expecting mom at the bar to be a BttF! But that ended up touching.

Walker Scobell

Agreed. I guess Reynolds fallback act is iconic enough that kids with that personality predilection would have had practice putting on that persona, or at least flirted with it. His IMDB blurb, a fan of Deadpool, feels a lot like he was already comfortable experimenting with those mannerisms.

Once again, Reynolds is the right actor for the role. Supposedly, this was to be a Tom Cruise vehicle a decade ago. Imagine any of adultAdam's lines said by Cruise around his couch-jumping days. They'd be creepy instead of endearing.
posted by porpoise at 9:27 PM on March 14, 2022

Come for Ryan Reynolds, stay for Vancouver / BC glamour shots, and that final scene with his dad, gah. The cast really kept this film afloat. Sweet and entirely watchable.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:50 PM on March 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

It annoys me that people keep referring to Reynolds' "Deadpool" persona. Did none of you see Blade: Trinity? Who is Hannibal King but an early Wade Wilson?
posted by SPrintF at 7:56 AM on March 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Blade: Trinity, Deadpool, this, even back to his teenage spot in X-Files... nice to see a Vancouver lad who can be a midrange star and still eat dinner at his parents' place pretty much every evening if he so chooses.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:27 PM on March 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

The kid was great, he didn't do a Ryan Reynolds impression but he sure seemed like he could grow up to be Ryan Reynolds.

I thought it was mostly enjoyable but nothing really special, it had a bit of a disposable plastic feel to it although the emotional climax was unexpectedly effective.

The face replacement of Catherine Keener on the younger version's body actor was hideously bad and distracting. Like, in those scenes it bacame a movie about bad face replacement and I missed everything that was being said. I wonder if the student's t-shirt that Professor Dad notices was a subtle lampshade for that.

Also I hated the clip-art approach to the music supervision. That really contributed to the sense of this being a movie made by marketers and money people rather than creatives.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 7:25 PM on March 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

I can see the criticism about the soundtrack choices. "Let My Love Open the Door" makes sense, but I found the use of "Good Times Bad Times for Zoe Saldana's entrance kinda weird, though maybe that's not the movie's fault so much as Led Zeppelin's fault. Because they've so famously denied filmmakers permission to use their music in movies, I'm always surprised to hear their music in movies or trailers and my immediate thought is: "how much did that cost?"
posted by wabbittwax at 8:53 AM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Did any other fellow Olds hear "Gimme Some Lovin'" as a music cue during the initial fighter plane sequence and just assume they were trying to trigger nostalgia for Iron Eagle?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:51 PM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

I just figured it had a Dad Rock soundtrack because it’s a Dad Movie.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:08 PM on March 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

>> What I couldn't reconcile was that if they got rid of the bad lady, then wouldn't that make it so his dad maybe didn't get in a car wreck on his way to work?
> Oh this will be the best time travel flic to see if the movie logic pundants can reconcile how the rules of TT were affected by the emotional plot quirks. ;-)

Sure thing!

Vague, handwaving theory: Less major changes take some time to propagate -
* The younger evil lady mentioned that she'd been visited already, and I first thought that was from later in the older one's timeline. Turns out: nope. Retrospectively, I'd guess she was a previous iteration.
* After destroying time travel stuff, Adam could stick around long enough to chillax and play catch.

Bigger changes can be quicker -
* When the younger one was shot, the older one immediately went boom.

I first wrote "they're inconsistent" with the above bullet points, but squinted and moved it around.

About the car wreck: it wasn't a hit from some iteration of the evil lady, though I'd hoped it was, so he'd live. If it had been a hit, it would have been risky to change from her future vantage point. And I guess maybe he was on work to his teacher job, not his research job?
posted by Pronoiac at 5:33 PM on March 19, 2022

The Adam Project and, surprisingly, Turning Red is an excellent double matinee that I highly recommend. Lots of shared themes about parenting, growing up, one's inner child, choices parents make.
posted by emkelley at 10:30 AM on April 5, 2022 [1 favorite]

I usually enjoy Ryan Reynolds playing the Ryan Reynolds character, but this was mediocre. Maybe if I were a dad or a son I'd like it more.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:24 PM on April 18, 2022

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