The Adam Project (AU - M/UK - 12/US - PG-13)

In a Word: Agreeable 

The Adam Project

The Adam Project features Walker Scobell as Young Adam and Ryan Reynolds as Big Adam. PICTURE: Doane Gregory/Netflix © 2022.

"Time travel exists. You just don't know it yet."

So begins The Adam Project, a time-bending movie screening on Netflix in which Ryan Reynolds, fresh from being (Mr Nice)Guy in Free Guy, plays Captain Adam Reed, a pilot from 2050 who travels back in time in a bid to change events and make the world a better place.

"This isn't a 'change one thing and the ripples create a different world' sort of time-travelling film. This is 'sci-fi lite' - there's not a lot of attention paid to the rules or impacts of time-travel; instead the focus is on Reed's relationships, particularly the troubled relationship with his father, and him coming to terms with his own past self (not someone he particularly likes)."

There's an immediate spanner in the works, however, when Reed's voyage back across the decades doesn't go quite to plan and he ends up in 2022 instead of 2018 and meets up with his 12-year-old self: a smart-mouthed, small-for-his-size kid who's being bullied at school (Walker Scobell). 

Together this unlikely pair - aided by Reed's inventor dad Louis (Mark Ruffalo), mum Ellie (Jennifer Garner) and his future wife (Zoe Saldana) - soon find themselves facing down some futuristic bad guys led by Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener) who is determined to stop Reed for righting the wrongs of the past. 

This isn't a "change one thing and the ripples create a different world" sort of time-travelling film. This is 'sci-fi lite' - there's not a lot of attention paid to the rules or impacts of time-travel; instead the focus is on Reed's relationships, particularly the troubled relationship with his father, and on him coming to terms with his own past self (not someone he particularly likes). At its heart, this is a family-friendly film about restoring broken relationships and comes with a somewhat bitter-sweet ending. 

Director Shawn Levy, who also directed Free Guy, steers the fairly non-stop action with a light hand but it doesn't push any boundaries the way the previous film did (at least visually). There's enough humour and plots turns to keep the viewer engaged in what is ultimately a light-hearted fun film with a slightly serious side in terms of the human dynamics.

Entertaining enough for what it is, but not a film you'll have to return to.