America, 2022. 12-year-old Adam Reed (Walker Scobell) goes to school, where he is periodically beaten for the fact that the boy does not know how to keep his mouth shut and constantly releases all sorts of offensive jokes. A year and a half ago, Adam lost his father, scientist Louis Reid (Mark Ruffalo), who died in a car accident. Adam takes this loss very hard, and after the death of his father, his relationship with his mother Ellie (Jennifer Garner) deteriorated greatly.
One evening, when Adam was left alone at home – Ellie went on a date – something greatly disturbed the dog of the boy Hawking. Adam lit a flashlight and went into the forest, where he discovered some strange glow. Returning home, Adam found a 42-year-old man with a bullet wound (Ryan Reynolds) in his father’s garage, who said that he was an adult Adam from the future, from the year 2050, where time travel was invented.
Adult Adam on a spaceship went to 2018 to find his missing wife Laura (Zoe Saldana), but he was chased by the powerful Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener), the head of a sinister corporation that rules the world in the future, Adam was shot, causing it to end up in 2022.
Now Adam needs to repair his ship, and he cannot do without the help of young Adam, find Laura, and after that they together need to find their father Louis in the past, thanks to whose development time travel became possible, and convince him to destroy these developments in order to save a future that now looks extremely ugly.
In 2021, director Shawn Levy, behind such films as “Night at the Museum”, “Pink Panther” and several episodes of the TV series “Stranger Things”, released a cool fantasy action movie “Protagonist” with Ryan Reynolds in the lead role.
And they continued this cooperation: this year they released a new fantastic action movie “Project Adam”, and at the time of the release of the new film it was officially announced that Marvel Studios invited Shawn Levy to become the director of the third “Deadpool”.
I must say that “Project Adam” is such a typical Hollywood long-term construction. They tried to launch it at Paramount studios back in 2012, and Tom Cruise was supposed to play the main role. But then something went wrong. Then the rights to the production were bought by the studio “21 Laps Entertainment”, which took part in the work on the “Protagonist”, funding was found from the Netflix streaming service, which was supposed to act as a distributor, Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds were pulled into the project, after which the process of creating the picture went full speed.
Four screenwriters worked on the script, two of whom wrote the script for the good melodrama “Wimbledon”, and one of them, Jonathan Tropper, worked on the script for the powerful series “Banshee”.
In “Adam” the influence of the series “Stranger Things” is immediately noticeable, which recreated the atmosphere of horror thrillers of the eighties. Here, however, it is not a thriller at all, but a fantastic action movie about time travel, but it is also clearly made in the style of the eighties, and the picture is filled with numerous references to fantastic film classics: “Terminator”, “Back to the Future”, “Star Wars”, ” Alien” and so on.
It is clear that the director wanted to play on nostalgia for “warm tube” fiction, but if Jason Reitman managed to do this in the recent “Ghostbusters: Heirs”, then in this case, nostalgia does not really work, because the film, directly say, it doesn’t have an original face at all and looks as if it was “blinded from what it was”, and there wasn’t much to sculpt from, because the script in terms of the fantastic component is frankly bad, and it seems that the screenwriters of the audience consider for idiots.
As you know, in any constructed world, some kind of internal logic must work. You can use time travel, but you have to somehow resolve the paradox of meeting yourself in the past and how time travel changes the future.
Here they didn’t bother with this at all: well, I met and met. We had a good conversation, by the way. And young Adam gained self-confidence: he found out that in the future he would become a pumped-up handsome man, and he would have glorious girlfriends – at least heaps.
The complete playfulness of what is happening is emphasized by these rather ridiculous blasters, as if bought in “Children’s World”, and lightsabers, which, of course, appear in order to sound the signature phrase “It’s a lightsaber, dude” (it also sounded in “The main character “).
So this whole fantastic part is a complete failure, it looks rather ridiculous, and nostalgic memories in me categorically refused to be called up.
But the psychological part – the pain of losing a loved one, the syndrome of misunderstanding with the mother, children’s fears and resentments, also projected onto the adult Adam – this has already been done much more decently, although not to say that it is completely good.
Ryan Reynolds understands that he always and everywhere plays Ryan Reynolds and tries, after a series of completely the same type of jokes, which, to be honest, are somewhat tired, to add drama, but, alas, he does not succeed very well.
No, he does not spoil the film, and everything was sharpened here for him, but the director himself clearly did not decide what he was shooting and for which particular audience. The fantasy here is for 12-year-olds with developmental delays, the psychology of relationships is not at all for 12-year-olds, the film has an age rating of 16+ (PG-13), so everything is somehow mixed and mixed so that the whole dish somehow doesn’t work out .
Walker Scobell, who played the young Adam, liked. A handsome boy, clearly followed the role, funny chatting and making fun, and one could even assume that this was the same Reynolds in his youth. Walker’s duet with Ryan turned out to be quite nice.
Jennifer Garner has nothing to do here at all, and her character mostly sits at the table and sadly sorts through the accounts, and Jennifer herself apparently remembers how she and Mark Ruffalo starred in the comedy “13 to 30” eighteen years ago.
The good actress Katherine Keener did not turn out the infernal villain at all, but it is hardly the fault of the actress: there, purely by script, this Maya Sorian is a cardboard box, no one could do anything worthy with this character.
Mark Ruffalo (by the way, Catherine Keener not so long ago played his character’s wife in the melodrama “For Once in a Lifetime”) played Louis well with the charm and gentle humor characteristic of this actor, and I really liked him here, and I strongly disagree with those reviewers who said that Ruffalo somehow did not fit into this film at all. Moreover, how he fit in, we think with the cat Bagel.
Zoya Saldana has two small episodes here, but she is good here – fighting and decisive. I have said several times in reviews that I really like the roles of this actress, where she is colored (in the sense that she is green or blue) and do not like those roles where she is not painted in some kind of cheerful color, but here the role turned out quite decent and without a color palette.
But back to the movie itself. I quarreled a little – after all, I expected much more from the couple who gave out the “Protagonist” – but one cannot but admit that it all looks good: Reynolds jokes, although monotonously, but funny, they made a couple with young Scobell good, Mark Raffalo is always a pleasure to see, so we have to admit that we even looked at this picture not without pleasure.
Yes, the script is bad, yes, the fantastic component is extremely weak, but the film really clearly does not pretend to be anything other than a family movie filmed for a streaming service, and since this is really a family movie filmed for a streaming service, then how we think it will fit the series “somehow to unload the head in the midst of the madness that is happening.” The film is up to the task.
PS Yes, I didn’t say the most important thing! The role of the Golden Retriever, named after Stephen Hawking, was played by Jennifer Garner’s dog Birdy, named after the actress’s favorite bird, which she had as a child. Now you have to watch this movie, right?
The Adam Project review
Director: Shawn Levy Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Catherine Keener, Alex Mallari Jr., Braxton Bjorken, Kasra Wong, Lucy Guest
Fantastic action movie, USA, 2022, 106 min.