Imagine if time travel was possible. Where would you go? Who would you see? Would you crash land in the year 2022 where your 12 year old self has more questions than you care to listen to? The answers may be confidential, but the film is on record as a strong contender for best film to premier on Netflix this year.
Adam Reed (Walker Scobell) is a smart mouthed 12 year old who’s struggling with the recent death of his father as well as in school. Bullied and beat up, he gets suspended and ends up having to stay home while his mother Ellie (Jennifer Garner) goes on a date. While she’s on that date, something crashes into the woods behind Adam’s home. He discovers an injured pilot hiding inside his father’s shed, who really turns out to be him from the future on a mission to find his missing wife Laura (Zoe Saldaña). Injured and unable to pilot his ship with damaged genes, adult Adam teams up with his younger self as he’s pursued by a powerful CEO from the future that’s bent on stopping him from finding the creator of time travel, his father Louis Reed (Mark Ruffalo).
I knew this film was going to have heart and soul. Not only because the trailer depicted a powerful storyline but also from the production notes that were sent to me. These notes were beautiful; gorgeously put together with a starry background and descriptions of each of the characters as well as some interesting tidbits of behind the scenes. Before I even opened up the movie to take my notes, I knew this was a product of passion just from the way these production notes were put together. A lot of love and care went into this and it just fueled my excitement for the film even more (just wanted to gush over how pretty they were to read and look at).
Back to the film itself. It may have been a sci-fi film on the outside but like onion, it had layers. It had the perfect mix and balance of sci-fi, humor, action and adventure that I think many people will appreciate. If you enjoyed films like Back to the Future or E.T., then this nostalgia train is for you. It was grounded in a way that it didn’t overdo the sci-fi genre with aliens, intergalactic explosions or bizarre planets. Instead it felt very human; a young boy coping with the death of his father while his adult self struggles with his past, and how the two interconnect despite them being from different time periods. Making peace with your younger self and getting a second chance to tell the ones you love what you couldn’t at the time is something many people wish they could do. It had heart and showcased a powerful connection to past, present and future and how we can learn from our past to help us in the present as we get ready for the future.
While Ryan Reynolds is in the film (who doesn’t love Ryan Reynolds?), admittedly the true star of the show would have to be newcomer Walker Scobell (young Adam Reed). This little guy blew my mind with how much like Ryan he was, mannerisms playing a huge role here. Ryan’s humor is often dry and sarcastic which Scobell nailed to a T. It was like watching a mini clone of Ryan on screen. Walker had Deadpool 2 memorized word for word by the time he was 11 which probably was what sealed the deal in terms of casting. It’s quirky, age inappropriate yet it suited the humor for the film. Scobell crushed it and definitely has a bright future ahead of him and he’s been an absolute delight to watch him flex his newfound acting muscles on screen.
I haven’t had this much fun with a film of this type since E.T. back when I was a child. It’s very reminiscent of older film such as this so the older millennials will appreciate the nostalgia and throwback to the popular films that made our childhood memorable. There’s something in it for everyone and there’s never a dull moment from start to finish.
You can stream The Adam Project globally on Friday March 11.