Shawn Levy‘s The Adam Project shows a style of humour that can’t be replicated. Part of it is in how he gets his talents to shine. The hilarity works in his version of Cheaper by the Dozen and Night at the Museum. What he imbues into these tales often results in a sequel or two. His latest might not get that continuation, but I’m hoping this latest can lead to Project: Eve or Lilith. It’ll depend on adding a bigger biblical context to which the backstory skims through.
The father of Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is a genius and what he’s created can remake the world a dozen times over. While the present day (2022) doesn’t have the advanced tech to realise transportation now, the future has fine tuned the mechanism. He’s almost like The Ancient One in Marvel’s Avengers because he has to tell his kids it’s not a good idea to mess with time, otherwise the future would be a total wreck.
Adam (Ryan Reynolds ) has daddy issues and decides to go back to his ‘past’ to stop dad from discovering time travel technology so that Sorian (Catherine Keener) from his future doesn’t take control. But he crash lands in the wrong year and meets his 12-year-old self (Walker Scobell). Paradoxes aside, what happens next are the two (or is that one?) rediscovering what he was–or should that be is–and fix those psychological scars. But even more importantly, the big man is hurt and can’t operate the time ship without the assistance of himself.
To reveal how it goes from bad to worse to perfect can spoil too much. What I enjoyed about this film is how the big man sees himself as a kid, and why he’s trying to fix the rotten attitude his younger self had. He was bullied and ridiculed; mom and him are emotionally distant, and how dad can say, “I love you” in the end. There’s many layers to admire about this film, and it delivers in a classic Robert Zemeckis approach for a Doctor Who style ending, maybe…
The weirdness between two individuals that are Adam is odd. By mid-film, I can see how the youth turns the man, and why the man decided to change who he was while searching for Laura Shane (Zoe Saldaña), who is also wanting to fix the timeline. The Back to the Future effect is concerning since it’s about preventing a despot from becoming an overlord. Plus a certain adage must be considered when considering time travel; “…about the dangers of time travel. Change anything, change everything. In this time, you do not exist yet.” (From LEGO Ninjago Season Seven: Hands of Time).
The slightly altered future needs a sequel to explore, but will that be made? Most tales concerning travelling through time means containing singularity, and usually something breaks free so that a sequel can be made. Levy’s plate includes developing a Free Guy sequel, but after that, revisiting his most popular works may well be on the calender. We just have to wait.
4½ Stars out of 5