THE ADAM PROJECT (2022) review
THE ADAM PROJECT on Netflix is a new sci-fi adventure movie for the whole family. With comedy and action alongside a very Spielberg-inspired style, this is a wonderful movie-watching experience.
Directed by Canadian Shawn Levy (Free Guy; Night at the Museum franchise; The Internship; Date Night; The Pink Panther 2006) from a screenplay co-written by Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin. Produced by David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Shawn Levy and Ryan Reynolds.
The movie stars Ryan Reynolds (Red Notice; Free Guy; The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard; The Voices; The Amityville Horror 2005), Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener and Walker Scobell.
“Though a forgettable villain and some uninspiring set-pieces sometimes hinder The Adam Project, Reynolds and Scobell’s cracking performances and the film’s surprising emotional depth make it worth a look.” Empire
“This is really well written and has a fast and fast dialogue between the characters. The story itself is heartwarming and in fact, the film manages to elicit a few tears as well. It is an adventurous, action-packed, film that suits the whole family. However, it is a pity that it should go on a streaming service when it had done far better in the cinemas!” 3.5/5 Film Paradiset [translated from Swedish]
” …a big, dumb lug of a movie that cribs from the Bruce Willis vehicle The Kid, Back to the Future and too many other sci-fi titles to list — and has a protagonist so smugly self-aware that none of his feelings ring true — isn’t really engineered for emotional investment. And everything else is too pedestrian to generate excitement.” The Hollywood Reporter
No matter how much I enjoyed The Adam Project on Netflix – and I really did – we have to talk about the CGI de-aged version of Catherine Keener. The amazing and brilliant Catherine Keener is great in this movie (as always!), so it has nothing to do with her.
However, due to the nature of time travel (and the fact that you can interact with your younger self), we see a de-aged version of Maya Sorian who is also played by Keener. Unfortunately, she looks like something out of a computer game. And not the brand new stuff. More along the lines of what we saw a good ten years ago in computer games. Impressive, but not all that realistic.
To be blunt, it looks terrible. We’ve seen a de-aged Michael Douglas in Ant-Man and we see Mark Hamill in The Book of Boba Fett. Both succeed much better than what we see in The Adam Project. I was actually quite shocked. Especially since all other effects are very impressive.
When the present and future Maya Sorians have to interact, it becomes even more obvious how badly it’s done. I mean, eeek!
So, let me be the first to admit that while I really loved The Adam Project, this particular element did not work. The acting of Catherine Keener is spot-on. Both as the ambitious but kind Maya Sorian as well as the dark and jaded future Sorian. I just know that there are VFX people that will watch those scenes in The Adam Project and be itching to re-work it!
Watch The Adam Project on Netflix!
Shawn Levy is the director behind The Adam Project which marks his second movie starring Ryan Reynolds in a row. They also made Free Guy (2021) together. A movie, I also enjoyed tremendously. Though in a very different way. Shawn Levy has also directed on the Netflix hit series Stranger Things ever since its first season in 2016.
The next feature film Shawn Levy is set to direct is a remake of Starman (1984). Well, it’s been announced that he’ll direct anyway. I absolutely adore the original Starman which was directed by horror master John Carpenter. However, I’m not against remakes when they come almost four decades after the original. Also, I’m curious to see how the next generation can experience this story in a modern remake.
Anyway, getting back to The Adam Project, which is not a remake, it was written by Jonathan Tropper (Warrior), T.S. Nowlin (Pacific Rim: Uprising), Jennifer Flackett, and Mark Levin. The two latter have worked on several projects together including Journey to the Center of the Earth and Nim’s Island.
Now, when I see that many writers are attached to a screenplay, I tend to get nervous. For this one, it just worked for me. Sure, it could have been a darker movie with less humor. But that isn’t what this is – and it works! Well, if you accept it for what it is, anyway.
Overall, The Adam Project is simply a wonderful movie-watching experience. A perfect introduction to the sci-fi genre for the younger generation and great fun for adults as well. Also, I liked that the ending was optimistic while also staying true to core subjects about dealing with reality. Do not miss out on this one!
The Adam Project is out on Netflix from March 11, 2022.