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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Adam Project on Netflix: Flip Flop to the Future – Culture

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With some movies, the idea comes to mind that someone had a brilliant idea for a script and then built a plot around this flash of inspiration. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, as Netflix’s “The Adam Project” shows. The premise: what if a pilot from the future went back in time to his 12-year-old self to save the world? The result is really entertaining.

The movie doesn’t stop long with an introduction. Director Shawn Levy takes you to the mid-2050s, where Air Force pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds) steals a spaceship. Alarm, space bang, along with the soundtrack “Gimme Some Loving” by Spencer Davis Group. What exactly does a ’60s hit do in a sci-fi movie? “The Adam Project” dismisses such questions with a healthy shrug, after all, the old days were already part of the recipe for the success of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies. And so Led Zeppelin, Boston and a solo piece by Pete Townshend are also used. The main thing is that it has recognition value.

Adam manages to escape through space and time, but against his will he ends up in the year 2022. There he comes into contact with his younger self (Walker Scobell), who is supposed to help him go back in time. But he waits! Hasn’t Back to the Future already taught us that interventions in the past have far-reaching consequences for the future? The principle is also applied in “The Adam Project”, but it is applied in a rather relaxed way. Old Adam explains to young Adam something about fixed deadlines where one can do no harm. But it’s not that important either.

Time machine to the golden age of blockbusters

What is more decisive is that the constellation of the two Adams provides ample opportunity for verbal battles, which are always considered as a meta-corner. At one point, young Adam suspects that time travel creates a “Multiverse,” most recently in the Marvel movie “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” in which multiple actors play “Spidey.” Reynolds’ Adam just rolls his eyes and replies that his younger alter ego probably watches too many movies. Of course, Reynolds himself is part of the Marvel family, where his Deadpool satirically breaks the seriousness of the superhero.


Watching Reynolds and newcomer Walker Scobell fight each other is just plain fun. Director Levy knows how to deftly use Reynolds’s witty sarcasm, which he also cultivates on his social media channels. Both have just shot the action comedy “Free Guy”, which was postponed several times due to the pandemic. Now their next collaboration is ending faster than planned. And “The Adam Project” purrs like a well-oiled entertainment machine.

(Now on Netflix)

The action sequences are not too long, the dialogues are fresh and funny, and in the second half the story takes on an emotional edge. The adult Adam travels after his wife Laura (Zoe Saldaña), disappeared in the past, which gives rise to beautiful moments of reunion and farewell; also with his late father (Mark Ruffalo), who happens to be one of the inventors of time travel.

Catherine Keener stars as her nemesis as a villain from the future, who also gets a chance to play a computer-enhanced teenage version of herself in The Irishman. Since the stars are also serious about time travel nonsense, the oft-proven juxtaposition of saving the world and family reconciliation works beautifully this time. Still, Levy’s film, which takes you back in time to blockbusters like Back to the Future, ET and the first Star Wars trilogy, remains mostly a nostalgic affair. In a way, The Adam Project feels like a time machine. The trip lasts one hundred entertaining minutes.


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