When it comes to time travel, it often feels like it has been overdone. Most of the time, the concept of time travel in the media we consume can be overly complicated for no apparent reason. And then there are the instances in which it feels as though little to no thought was put into the science of it all. Thankfully, The Adam Project seems to comprehend how to tell a good story with the use of time travel, opting not to complicate things, but also ensuring it tries to explain the science for the general audience. The film is everything viewers can want from a time-travel moment; it’s smart, it has heart, and the cast is pretty dang stellar, but more importantly, it never forgets to tell a good story throughout it all.
The Adam Project kicks things off with Ryan Reynolds‘ Adam in a ship seemingly crashing down to Earth. It’s a hell of a sequence, and one that immediately pulls viewers in. It doesn’t waste time trying to set anything up, it wants to let viewers know they’re in for a bumpy ride. What follows is the introduction of young Adam and his mom, played by Jennifer Garner, as he finds himself at the center of a fight in school. Much like the introduction to Reynolds‘ adult Adam, this helps to set up the character of young Adam, proving he’s always been a bit of a troublemaker. Naturally, the two soon come into contact, resulting in a chaotic story that soon follows.
There’s much to love about The Adam Project. It’s a family film that is full of adventure and heart. It’s visually stunning with a soundtrack that perfectly matches the tone of the film. As for the action? There’s one particular action sequence involving Zoe Saldaña‘s character that is so well-done, it feels like it is pulled from a superhero film. The action is big and explosive, and yet, it still feels as if it’s purposeful; the action doesn’t exist merely to look cool. Each sequence serves a purpose and helps to move the story forward.
Where the film truly excels is in its small moments. For such a large story that takes place across multiple timelines, The Adam Project knows when to scale things back. Shawn Levy does a great job directing the film from a script penned by Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin. The scenes between Mark Ruffalo and the Adams are heartfelt and wonderfully shot. They feel intimate and provide some of the best character development throughout the movie. The only issue with the film? It doesn’t make nearly enough use of Ruffalo and Saldaña.
All in all, The Adam Project is a blast. It’s full of fantastic performances — especially Jennifer Garner, who plays the role of a widowed mother so heartbreakingly well — and wonderful character moments. Sure, it might occasionally fall into the typical Reynolds humor, however, it works in this film. This is the perfect family film to watch over the weekend. There’s plenty of action, the dialogue is well-written and the small cast allows the creatives to maintain control of what could have otherwise been a cluster of a film. If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend on Netflix? Give The Adam Project a watch, you won’t be disappointed.