A bit of make-believe science, a lot of time travel and some action sequences is what the new Netflix movie “The Adams Project” is all about. Well, mostly anyway.
The story revolves around a rogue time traveler, Adam, played by Ryan Reynolds, who attempts to save the future but accidentally lands in the year 2022 instead of 2018. He goes to his old home and bumps into his mini-me, played by Walker Scobell, breaking the one big rule of time travel, as seen in the “Back To The Future” movies: You can’t meet your younger self..
Reynolds’ character recruits his 12-year-old self on his adventure to — spoiler alert — end time travel, once and for all.
The cast is star-studded and includes Jennifer Garner as Adam’s mother and Mark Ruffalo as his father and the inventor of time travel.
Zoe Saldaña (from “Guardians of the Galaxy”) plays Adam’s wife and Catherine Keener (from “Seinfeld”) his villain.
The movie draws inspiration from older Hollywood hits
The movie manages to pay homage to genre-breaking science fiction like “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Flight of the Navigator,” wrote Glen Weldon for NPR.
Adam’s lightsaber-ish weapon is reminiscent of “Star Wars,” and the classic rock soundtrack is similar to the songs heard in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Ruffalo and Garner’s couple casting screams “13 Going 30,” in which they were also together, instantly assuring the audience of a preexisting chemistry.
Written by four screenwriters — Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, and Mark Levin — may be a reason why “The Adam Project” is sprinkled with nostalgic references, from top to bottom, helping viewers to feel connected to the film.
‘The Adam Project’ and the science of time travel
As Adam and mini-Adam jump around different timelines, they seem to break most rules of time travel. First, the two Adams are hanging out. Second, the older Adam tells younger Adam everything!
The movie acknowledges that the two Adams hanging out can unravel the space-time continuum but that never happens, as evident in the ending, where everything remains mostly the same but better — Young Adam is nicer to his mom, for one.
“Is ... is this time travel?” asks Ruffalo in the movie. Whether it is or isn’t, it is clear that the movie doesn’t dwell on scientific explanation.
Instead, it lingers around one-line zingers from the out-of-control time-traveling duo and emotional confrontations concerning the loss of their father.
Is it OK for kids to watch?
Since the movie is meant for ages 14 and up, expect some cursing, kissing and sexual innuendo.
There are also many deadly fights with soldiers wearing futuristic armor who use weapons like guns, tasers and lightsabers. One fight results in a bloody wound. In one scene, a car flips over and explodes.
The movie stars Reynolds, which may be why it is jam-packed with sarcastic humor. But not everything is rainbows and sunshine as the two Adams grapple with their father’s death, revealing the underlying importance of family.
Reynolds’ character plays a positive role model, showing younger Adam what personal sacrifice, courage and empathy can look like.