The A.D.A.M Project

⭐⭐⭐ based on 1 review.

tl;dr: A fun romp with a great mini Reynolds and a surprisingly decent take on time travel.


Spoilers Ahead: My reviews are not spoiler-free. You have been warned.

I didn't go into The A.D.A.M Project expecting much. I had hoped that we'd get a fairly typical performance from Reynolds with some notable laughs and enough charm to carry through a likely plothole-riddled time-travel story; a sort of hyper-macho, over-engineered attempt at Back to the Future which has had too many focus groups and meddling executives to really stick the landing. Well, Reynolds is certainly charismatic enough, and the rest of the adult cast hold their own, keep the plot moving forward, and even have the audacity to attempt some level of emotional intrigue occasionally, but I was surprised to see the leading man almost entirely upstaged by his younger self.

I mean, when you're up against the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Gardner, Zoe Saldaña, and Ryan Reynolds, I think most people would have forgiven the kid actor from just taking a bit of a backseat and skating through on shocked faces and cute factor, but Walker Scobell just wasn't going to take that, instead often outshining everyone else around. To be fair, his character isn't the most interesting from a scripting side: a kid missing his dead father, acting out as a coping mechanism, and generally being a bit of a dick gets taught that the world doesn't revolve around them and their actions have consequences. It's not Oscar-nomination-level stuff. But Reynolds is a pretty big personality, and in order to play his childhood self, you have to give as good as you get, and I'd say that, at times, Walker gives better. Having seen a few interviews of the two of them, I think they may have crafted a monster 😂

The outcome is a pretty enjoyable film, with decent CGI and action moments, and some surprisingly clear-cut time travel. It's nothing too novel or mind-blowing, but it holds up much better than other, supposedly more "mature" and "considered" films like Looper and Interstellar do, and I didn't come away deeply annoyed about obvious plot holes, so I'll take that as a win. The ending where he meets Saldaña's character feels a little weird, but I guess they needed to wrap that thread up a little, and the futuristic weapons are neat so I'll give them a slightly awkward moment or two.

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