“The Adam Project,” a movie directed by Shawn Levy, is an adventure-packed film that follows time-traveling fighter pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds). After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self on a mission to save the future.
The movie started with the note, “TIME TRAVEL EXISTS. YOU JUST DON’T KNOW IT YET.” It opens with a scene of a fighter pilot, Adam Reed, from the year 2050, shooting a portal to travel through time. Then, Adam crash-landed in 2022 instead of 2018, which he aimed for due to the jet being in a fatal condition. There, Adam teams up with his younger self to try to stop the invention of time travel, thereby fixing the future.
A young asthmatic Adam who has adopted a regular habit of getting into trouble in school with other boys was still trying to recover from the recent passing away of Louis, his father (a physics lecturer), in the year 2022, which led to him getting suspended from school on several occasions. Apparently, adult Adam, too, is still scarred by the death of his father. Shortly before the death of Louis, he invented time travel with the help of Sorian, a project (The Adam Project) he was always preoccupied with when he was still alive.
Their adventure begins when the adult Adam, visiting 2022 from 2050, explains to little Adam that time travel has ruined humanity, and hindering its invention is their only hope. Complicating the mission are Adam’s dad, Louis, and Louis’s ruthless business partner, Sorian. How tampering with the past will unsettle the future, including Adam’s marriage to fellow insurgent Laura, is a mystery that the movie refuses to dwell on.
Sorian goes head-to-head with the two Adams. She unleashes her security chief Christos and his soldiers to stop Adam Reed. Sorian gets defeated (both her older time-traveling self and younger somewhat-innocent self) by the two Adams and Louis. This happened during the battle as the machine was on the verge of collapsing. The older Sorian aimed to shoot Louis with an armor-piercing bullet, but due to the magnetic pull from the accelerator, her shot got redirected, killing the younger Sorian, erasing herself from the timeline, and making her non-existent.
With time travel now scrambled, little Adam, young Adam, and their father need only wait until the timeline sorts itself and sends the Adams back to their own fixed times. Paying particular attention to young and old Adam’s strained relationship with their father, the boys, and their father needed to bring closure in the way many fathers and sons do, which is through shared activity, so they go home and play catch. What makes the scene even more emotional is that despite little Adam’s efforts, Louis refuses to learn about what might happen to him in the future for fear of disrupting the timeline even further. This means that he will still die.
The Adam Project is filled with unique plot twists and mind scramblers. The relationship between Young Adam and Grown Up Adam was an absolute joy. It was a beautiful thing to watch, with funny and sarcastic interactions between them and old Adam manipulating young Adam. By teaming up with his younger self, both Adams got to forgive their father and make peace with his absence. Rather than fighting against the wrinkles in time and their young age, the Adams found acceptance, which is something they couldn’t have found on their own.
The movie ends with Louis standing alone in his yard, both Adams back in their timeline, somehow remembering the events of their time-travel adventures that have been wiped from memory. Laura runs into adult Adam while attending class in 2050, and while the two are now strangers instead of married, there feels a connection, a kind of chemistry between the two of them together. The most heartwarming moment of them all, young Adam in 2022, is about to leave for school before he stops right in his tracks, turns around, and gives his mom a big and heartfelt hug (I felt really emotional with this scene). At that moment, he was no longer bitter and angry over the death of his father; he reconciles with his mother and expresses strong love for her.
My name is Franklin Ifeanyi. I am someone who likes to help people; I hope to do that with writing. For more of Franklin's work, check out his review on The Harder They Fall.