Photo: ‘The Adam Project’
The words “Time travel is real; you just don’t know it yet” popping on the screen, followed by an action-packed sequence with an adrenaline-filled Ryan Reynolds, is how this adventurous film begins.
Let’s admit it, all of us who have worked on ourselves towards the healing process of whatever we’re trying to mend ourselves from has led us to have to heal our “inner child”. But, what if you could go back in time to talk to your past self? To reach out your caring arms to who you once were, and have child-you realize how amazing you’ll turn out to be in the future to come swiftly; how all your current experiences will ultimately shape you?
‘The Adam Project’ – Who He Once Was
“I once was.”
These two lines said in an exchange between older Adam Reed and child Adam Reed within the first fifteen minutes of the film showcase just how much of an emotional tag-along journey this story will be for viewers; on top of simply being such a definitive “Hey this is where the story finally begins” moment for the film as well.
Directed by Shawn Levy (‘Free Guy’, ‘Night at the Museum’, ‘This is Where I Leave You’, etc.), the plot of ‘The Adam Project’ is relatively simple. After accidentally crash-landing into the year 2022, Adam Reed (played by Ryan Reynolds), a time-traveling fighter pilot, teams up with his 12-year-old self to strive towards accomplishing a mission to (hopefully) save the world.
The writing of the film is overall a fun adventure; and despite losing some momentum that the story had gained in the first half, the film showcases itself to be something that will stick itself into a place within your heart. Ultimately, it magically intrudes on your heartstrings and plucks them out like a melancholic piano. This felt entirely due to the underlying concept of the film: healing your inner child.
Now, I may be reading far too much into things; and based on Levy’s other films, deeply philosophical concepts seem to be played up to be far more comedic and light-hearted (which is personally my favorite way of writing as well). However, the emotions that captured me while I was watching this film, and keeping that concept of this self-healing through reverting into your inner child in mind, had me connecting with ‘The Adam Project’. I, for one, have been working on healing my inner child for quite some time, and seeing that somehow represented within this film touched my heart completely; even if that wasn’t what Levy and the writers of the film were striving to do.
In sum, ‘The Adam Project’ achieves a magnificent sense of storytelling in ways that don’t feel emotionally cheesy but simply emotionally right. There’s purpose in the dialogue and plot points; elements that drive the story forward rather than holding it back in any way.
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Besides its emotional elements, ‘The Adam Project’ is also a sci-fi film that explores one of the desired concepts that we as humans hope to understand (and potentially use ourselves): time travel. Being set in 2022, the film feels somewhat relevant to us. We’re edging towards a more technological future, while also coping with the effects of the pandemic; thus in turn we are all trying to figure out who we are now, which is no easy feat.
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Sci-fi is a truly beloved genre, and the mixture of philosophical healing and a desire that we don’t know will ever be achievable feels as though it’s an excellent way of getting viewers engrossed in a film. We as audience members want to feel seen in the struggles we deal with, but also get the sense that filmmakers care about what we’re watching (while also having a tad bit of fun on the side). And that is exactly what ‘The Adam Project’ has achieved here.
I’m a sucker for watching films about the future, and I’m sure a majority of you reading this are as well. It’s such a rather quixotic genre at times since it features aspects of life that we may never get to experience ourselves. But, it’s for this reason that makes ‘The Adam Project’ so fun. As I mentioned before, it’s entirely relatable to be working towards the long-overdue healing process of your inner child; and coupling that with a scientific concept that we’ve been dreaming to accomplish for years as a method to showcase this in a more literal sense is honestly genius to me.
The cinematography in the film also gives off a sci-fi-feel paired with a nostalgic early-2000s color scheme. Interesting and odd combination, I know, but it’s appropriate to use to emphasize the storytelling within the film–something out-worldly.
We’ve Got Time
At the end of the day, after the credits rolled after the final (and rather romantic) scene, ‘The Adam Project’ reminded me that there is always enough time for healing and bettering your experiences for a personal beneficial future; along with how even a simply fun sci-fi movie ca become something weirdly influential. When I first watched the film, I wasn’t expecting it to make me feel the way it did; or for me to feel as though I could quickly latch on into forming a personal connection with it and seeing how my perspectives could contribute to my entertainment of the film as well.
Shawn Levy, the writers, and the acting performances of Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell all fully contributed to creating a fantastic film; and a Netflix original one at that. ‘The Adam Project’, in my personal opinion, definitely deserves a theatrical release one day for all the wondrous love and care that was put into it. It gives justice and a visual representation of what we all wish we could do when healing our inner child. Something simple and endearing was created through a variety of nurturing hands, and everyone understood how the story could take audiences back in time along with Adam Reed; both currently and futuristically.
Cinematography: Tobias A. Schliessler | Editor(s): Jonathan Corn, Dean Zimmerman | Director: Shawn Levy | Writer(s): Jonathan Tropper, T.S. Nowlin, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin | Producers: David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger
By Leah Donato
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