Netflix’s New Time-Travel Adventure Sticks Too Close to Formula


The Adam Project, a film directed by Shawn Levy, has been in development hell for the past 10 years, but with Netflix acquiring the project, the movie was finally finished and released exclusively on Netflix on March 11, 2022.

In a dystopian 2050, fighter pilot Adam Reed steals his time jet and attempts to travel to 2018 but instead crashes in 2022. There he meets his 12-year-old self who is struggling with his father’s recent death. He’s bitter towards his mother, Ellie, and keeps getting into fights at school. Adam reluctantly enlists the help of his younger self to help fix his jet. It’s then revealed that Adam came to the past to look for his wife, Laura, who supposedly died on a mission in 2018. Adam is then found by Maya Sorian, leader of the dystopian world, and her lieutenant Christos who attempt to capture Adam and take him back to 2050. But before they can capture him, Laura shows up and helps the two Adams escape. She reveals the assassination attempt on her which left her stranded in the past. Laura had learned that Sorian had gone back in time and altered the past to give her control of time and the future. Laura urges Adam to go to 2018 and destroy time travel, which was created by his father Louis, to set things right and save the future. Sorian attacks and Laura sacrifices herself so both Adams can escape. Sorian finds the two and with only enough power in the jet for one more time jump, Adam and his younger self jump back to 2018 with the new goal of stopping Sorian and saving the future.

This film hits a lot of the basics of a sci-fi fantasy. Dystopian future, time travel–all of it has been done before, and none of it feels like it expands on the genre. Ryan Reynolds is not a bad actor, but it feels like most of his characters start to blend in with each other and his classic sarcastic attitude bleeds out into this film. But young Adam, played by Walker Scobell, does a great job of emulating him and truly makes him feel like a younger Ryan Reynolds. It also has the side effect of trying to explain time travel, a concept that varies by media, which makes it confusing when it comes to the rules and what you can and can’t do. 

While it’s by no means bad, The Adam Project just feels so generic, and with its Netflix exclusivity, it can’t reach the same crowd compared to if it got a theatrical release. The story just felt like the same thing that’s been shot out every time. While the actors aren’t bad, they never really feel like they become the characters they’re supposed to portray. If you’re into sci-fi you’ll probably enjoy this, but most of it will feel like the same stuff you’ve seen so many times before.

Categories: Entertainment, Opinion

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