The last time Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy teamed up, they produced the video game sci-fi action-comey Free Guy. And I’m going to get a lot of people upset but I was disappointed. I’m not saying that I didn’t enjoy it. I really felt the movie was marketed with us thinking that Reynolds is the main character. He isn’t. That role went to Jodie Comer as video game designer Millie Rusk and the kick-ass character of Molotov Girl.
And maybe it was becuase I was watching Free Guy for the first time while grieving the lost of my girlfriend, I found some things not as enjoyable. I like what Free Guy did and tried to do. And there is a great cameo that I won’t ruin. But Free Guy felt like there was something off. I just got the feeling it was trying too hard.
The Adam Project, released earlier this year on Netflix sticks to a better format, even though it’s on a streaming service, it seems more appropriate. Reynolds plays Adam Reed, who in the year 2050 is a fighter pilot in a dystopia world that he describes worse than what was in the Terminator movies. He steals a time jet to go back to 2018 to save the life of his wife, Laura (Zoe Saldana) but ends up in 2022.
In this time frame, young Adam (Walker Scobell) and his mother, Ellie, are still grieving the death of his father and her husband, Louis (Mark Ruffalo), who was killed in a car accident the year before. Louis was a brilliant quantum physicist who created the algorithm that controls time travel. Young Adam is getting in trouble at school and his relationship with Ellie is very strained.
One night when Ellie goes out on a date, Young Adam meets his older self, who is injured, in the garage outside. Initially not believing the strange man, Young Adam finds out that this man is himself. Young Adams finds out that after the death of Louis, an associate of his father, Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener), monopolised the trade market and become very wealthy.
With help from Laura who actually faked her own death and stayed off the grid, the Adams travel back to 2018 to meet with Louis, who is very upset that they have traveled knowing the consequences it has had. The older Adam has grown bitter toward his father because he was too interested in his work. But the younger Adam reminds him that there were happier moments he’s forgotten. In the end, the two Adams and Louis must work together to stop Sorian who has also sent her older self back in time to warn her younger self.
It seems like a mixture of Timecop, Disney’s The Kid and Frequency with a Field of Dreams like ending. But it still works despite the fact that we’ve seen this story told before sometimes better and sometimes worse. Reynolds and Scobell get along well on screen. And this might be the closest we’ll get to a Hulk/Deadpool movie even thoiugh Disney now owns the X-Men properties. And both Saldana and Garner have played Marvel characters Gamora and Elektra.
Unfortunately, my main complaint is that Saldana and Garner are very underused in these roles. I feel this is because the script was been around since 2012 and went through many revisions over the years. I will say Keener is perfectly cast in her role, as well as Alex Mallari Jr., as Christos, a ruthless henchmen for Sorian. Part of my problem with Free Guy was Taika Waititi was overused as the villain. Keener is an actress that can handle comedy and drama both equally effective. And after about 35 years in the film and TV industry, she’s still undervalued and underappreciated. She walks just the fine balance in this movie not to take the role too seriously but understand what she needs to do to be an effective villain.
What do you think? Please comment.