Ok Ryan Reynolds is back in a brand new role and movie where he plays a sassy guy with razor sharp one liners. No it’s not Deadpool? No it’s not the Hitman’s Bodyguard It’s The Adam Project. A timey wimey wibbly wobbly movie that sees the titular character travelling back in time to team up with his younger self. The Wrexham football club co-owner Ryan Reynolds has reunited with Free Guy director Shawn Levy and I am pleased to say that just like that movie, The Adam Project is great.
The Adam Project Time Travel Explained
Now whilst Free Guy was a better Ready Player One than Ready Player One, The Adam Project delivers a movie that wears it’s 80’s sci fi influences on its sleeve. It is a glorious amalgamation of things like ET, The Last Starfighter and Flight of the Navigator.
Ok so the movie opens in 2050 with Adam stealing or taking back a fighter jet in order to travel back in time.
Throughout the film we learn that time travel was accidentally invented by Adam’s father Louis in 2018. He ended up dying and it massively effected his childhood and adult life.
Now Though Adam initially wants to rescue his wife Laura the entire point of the film eventually is to stop time travel from being created as we discover that 2050 is basically the terminator timeline times t-1000. This is because a friend of Adam’s known as Sorian basically did a back to the future 2 and she went back in time in order to tell her old self to buy Bitcoin and secure a Bored Ape so she becomes mega rich. We’re just kidding but not really. Because of her future knowledge she can wrapped tape around Time travel and made it so that it belongs to her.
The way time travel works in the film is that there is one set timeline and if you go back and change things then it effects all future events and basically wipes things clean from the moment that they were changed. If someone were to travel back in time, dance on Titanic and move it out the way of that iceberg then when they returned home their memories of that being the true history would start to solidify as if that’s the way it always happened.
This is why Adam can meet his younger self and not remember it happening to him. If he were to return to 2050 the events that played out would then become his memories and so on and so forth.
You can affect the past which in turn affects the future and it’s more things become fixed points rather than an MCU Multiverse time split. This gets lip service paid to it in the film and hilariously Young Adam has a child-like wonder over the equipment and weapons questioning if it is a lightsaber with it kind of being more like a TVA time stick.
Now a big twist comes in the film when we learn that the timeline we see is actually one that’s already had somewhat of a do-over and that the young Adam exists in a one where Sorian has already gone back and changed things.
We’ll talk about this later on but it’s very important to bear in mind.
Young Adam & The Adam Project Recap
Now whilst Adam wants to go back to 2018 he initially lands four years later in 2022. He introduces himself to his younger version who’s played by Walker Scobell.
Walker is brilliant in the film and for such a young guy he does a great job of recapturing the franctic, almost ad-libbed dialogue that Reynolds is famous for. You really can believe that they’re the same character at different points in their lives and it helps the elevate the film a lot as they start to work together.
Now Adams young self is just as mouthy as he is but he’s small and weak and thus is easily susceptible to bullies and we find him being tormented by them leading to him being collected by his mother and we learn that his father passed away a year ago and has had a detrimental effect on him.
Luckily he will get a quick lesson in growing up as his older self lands in his back garden leading Young Adam to follow his dog Hawkin, you know named after Stephen Hawking.
We get a pretty cool scene where the Young Adam realises just who this man is and Older Adam explains he’s here on a rescue mission and he needs him as each ship is coded to the DNA of the pilot. He needs him to power it up but just as Young Adam helps the Older one, the older one also helps the young one.
After the death of his Dad, Adam very much was like a person who watches the videos but they don’t subscribe, there, but not really there. He was a complete jerk to his mother and Adult Adam regrets this massively as he realises how nice she was to him.
It’s a poignant moment and Reynolds delivers several heartfelt moments where he decides to be the father figure that his past self lost out on. Eventually he comes to realise he might be trying to rush Adam through years of growth and he also visits his mother at a bar. Was really wondering whether they’d do a back to the future where she’d try and get it on with him but luckily they dodge that bullet even if Sorian doesn’t.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves but what Adam Project does excellently is that it has these sentimental moments that make it more than just a time travel story.
There’s also cool thematic pieces and even a fight to the song good times bad times by Led Zeppelin.
It’s an apt choice and as Robert Plant talks about losing his love Adam is saved by his wife Laura who sadly does not get enough screen time. The song also discusses the idea of what it is to be a man and doing the right thing, both things Adam struggles with across time in the movie.
Along the way Adam confronts a bully, we get some cool hoverboard riding soldiers and also one that is a bit like the speeder bike chase in Return Of The Jedi, lightsaber and all.
We also get an explanation as to what happened to Laura as she is clearly not dead like Adam was told. We learn she found something strange in the jump logs which was a time jet that returned from 2018. This was never have supposed to happen and though they could’ve just went back to watch Infinity War opening night, something fishy was happening.
The real reason it seemed like it never went there in the first place is because Sorian’s tips to her younger self changed the time stream meaning it wasn’t the same time that she went to.
She not only invested heavily but she managed to gain control of the time programme and she used this for personal gain even if her head seemed like it was CGI’d badly onto her body the entire time.
Now Sorian by going back in time changed everything and this robbed the entire world, including Adam of the lives that they were meant to lead.
It’s here that he is urged to go back to 2018 and end time travel but in doing this it would mean that Laura and Adam never met as they only crossed paths on the programme. Thus Adam thinks that they needed Sorian’s intervention in order to fall in love and it puts him in a bit of a moral quandary.
However Laura is adamant that they are meant to be and their marriage is a sort of fixed point as we see at the end of the movie.
Now this moment cuts even deeper as they are attacked which leaves Laura having to make a final stand. From this point on the two Adam’s go back to 2018 and it’s here they meet their father played by Mark Ruffalo.
Eerily he says most of you will die before you finish your life’s work which is the exact same thing that happened to him. Interestingly they get into a debate over the origin of the phrase It’s Later Than You Think as technically it IS later than Louis thinks as both Adam’s are from the future and his story is later than he thinks.
Louis despite being told that the past and future have already been ruined by Sorian refuses to help put the genie back in the bottle as he’s worried that it might further destabilise the time stream. Fortunately, the theme of Young Adam needing a father figure arises again as Older Adam says that his younger self needs him so their missing becomes to defeat Biff I mean Sorian.
Realising that he spent too much time on time travel he decides to go with the second chance he’s been given and thus the three set out to destroy it once and for all.
This all leads to a confrontation in a super cool fight as Sorian threatens young Adam in the hopes of getting the drive that can unlock everything.
While maths ruined the future, here it saves the day due to the metal in the armour piercing bullets being magnetic. Louis counted on this and as it travels into the generator it goes through Sorian’s past self in order to do this.
It’s a moment akin to the ending of looper and because of the future having to rely on the past, Sorian’s younger CGI de-aged self dying means her older version has to die too.
Now sticking to the rules of time travel how they should be, Louis refuses to hear how he died. Sadly it seems like this is a fixed point in time and that he was always meant to die either way. We catch young Adam and his mother at the end of the movie and she’s going through the insurance papers. She says she wants to do it how Louis did and the whole hug between young Adam and his mother doesn’t work unless he goes.
The Adam Project Ending & Review
It’s really heartbreaking and watching Louis accept his fate whilst delivering a speech about how much he loves his son really means a lot.
He trusts in the strength of his son and knows that no matter what they’ll make it.
Now 30 years takes a long time to correct and thus they have some time together before they return to their own times. In the back garden they all play baseball one last time and I’m not…I’m not crying you are.
You are you stupid punk.
Young Adam promises to give his mother a hug so hard it could break her ribs and its such an emotioanl ending about loss, acceptance and remembering the good times amongst the bad. Watching them disappear is a great way to say goodbye. Now back in their presents we watch as a Young Adam tells his mother he loves her after pretending to mug her and old Adam meets Laura.
Now when they’re playing catch Adam wonders if they’ll remember the adventure they went on because as we learned earlier, memories alter to fit the past. It does kinda break the rules a bit but I think that Old Adam definitely remembers Laura as he says that he found her. The memories being kept is further cemented by young Adam hugging his mother which he wouldn’t remember to do if he’d forgot everything.
All in all it’s a really good ending and as for my thoughts on the movie, I really enjoyed it.
I don’t think it’s really inventing time travel and doing anything we haven’t seen before but it still had a lot of dramatic and great action moments.
Though Reynolds is great and often times he has to carry movies, I think that the whole cast here are really good and Zoe Saldana, Mark Ruffalo, Walker Scobell and well everyone handles the material really well.
I’m excited to see what Reynolds and Levy do next as they’ve had two great original IP films back to back and it’s nice to see them hitting home runs like this on new properties.
Overall The Adam Project was great and it gets an…