In case you were wondering, yes, The Adam Project is better than Red Notice. It’s better than Deadpool 2. It’s even better than Free Guy. A 104-minute load of Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell awesomeness will never be turned away. Yep, Walker Scobell. Reynolds may be the credited lead for the film, but it’s Scobell who does a lot of the work. The film would work without him, but with, The Adam Project is just taken to another level.
I mean, do you want me to list this film’s weaknesses? Because there aren’t many. The Adam Project is nearly the definition of a perfect film. There are of course some deficiencies, but they’re far outweighed by the likable factors. The runtime may be a tad too short, and the villain may be underdeveloped, but the pure joy between Scobell and Reynolds is too much to overcome.
Shawn Levy has created a stunning piece of art. His craft has been displayed in wonderful fashion for this film. The shot for the opening film is right out of the entrance of the Guardians of the Galaxy in Avengers: Infinity War, and the music is even better. That opening sequence also sets the tone really well for the film going forward, and establishes the villain (Catherine Keener’s character) as a woman with a ruthless streak.
Levy and Ryan Reynolds make an amazing pair. Free Guy, now this? I’m excited to see Free Guy 2, and hope that there’s The Adam Project 2. I may be way off here, but I’d love to see them team up for Deadpool 3. That would be exceptional. One can hope, and with the successes of these 2 films, I sincerely think that Levy has a good shot at landing in the director’s chair.
Walker Scobell has just landed the start of a major career. Coincidentally or not, he’s good enough to be the next generation’s Ryan Reynolds. The wit, the charm, even the looks, it’s all there. Per Reynolds, Scobell secured the role because he had memorized Deadpool 2 by the time he was 9. That’s a Ryan Reynolds thing to do, and the film also stars Reynolds. See where I’m going here? It just clicks.
Besides Reynolds and Scobell, there’s a wonderful supporting cast to celebrate. Zoe Saldana and Mark Ruffalo reunite (Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame) to provide wonderful displays as Adam’s wife and father, respectively. Jennifer Garner is illustrious as Adam’s mother, but Catherine Keener I must say, is a bit of a letdown. Maya Sorian doesn’t serve as the villain that this film deserves. Rather, it’s just a collection of bad, old, or just overused ideas.
The overall themes for this film are magnificent. The Adam Project tells the tale of a son missing his father. What’s more understandable than that? It’s a story of love, of friendship, and yes, a story of time travel, but the basis of the film is based off Reynolds’ own experiences as a child, per his comments. If you’ve had a father that’s passed, what would you give for one more moment with him?
That’s not to say the film doesn’t have its issues. The main one? The villain, Maya Sorian, is weak. Really weak. And it’s disappointing, because it’s a waste of Catherine Keener’s talents. We have such an intricate actress here, and what do we do? We make her character one-sided. All she craves is money and power. That gets REALLY old, REALLY fast. If there had just been one more layer to the character (ie. familial reasons, doing what she thinks is right), it would’ve been a lot better. Instead, we get stuck with yet another lame villain.
I feel the runtime could’ve been longer. 104 minutes isn’t terrible, and for comparison, Deadpool was 108 minutes, and Free Guy 115. However, the film’s second act felt rushed, and the third slow. I personally feel that the movie would’ve benefited from a runtime of about 120 minutes. It would’ve given the second act a little bit of breathing room, and again, would’ve given us time to properly develop the villain.
There’s a surprising amount of comedy in this film, to be honest. But not in a good way. I expected quite a bit of Reynolds-Scobell banter, and there wasn’t much, actually. The chemistry between the two is strong, and the dialogue makes up for a lot of this, but at certain times in the movie, you can’t help but think, “Wow, there could’ve been a really great joke in that moment.” Still though, for the amount of comedy that we got, all of it was quality.
The Adam Project is truly a special film. It has its flaws, like any other piece of cinema, but if you delve a bit deeper than the issues, you find a heartwarming spectacle to be enjoyed for years to come. It’s memorable, which is more than I can say about other films. The Adam Project arrives on March 11 on Netflix, and when it arrives, check it out. You’ll be surprised.
Overall Rating: A