Netflix's The Adam Project Review -- A movie made out of movies you liked

While watching Shawn Levy's latest movie The Adam Project, you might find yourself trying to shake the feeling that you've seen all of this before. Ryan Reynolds playing a talky badass? Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner sharing the screen together? A gun-wielding Zoe Saldana? Time travel shenanigans? It's like a "Best of Pop Culture" compilation marketed as the latest Netflix original.

Reynolds plays Adam Reed, a cocky pilot from a future where time travel is not only possible but also a resource corrupted in the hands of evil tech billionaires like Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener). After his wife Laura (Zoe Saldana) mysteriously dies on a mission in 2018, Adam tries to go back in time to rescue her. Unfortunately, he botches the timing and crash-lands in 2022 instead, where he meets up with his dorky 12-year-old self (Walker Scobell) still reeling from his father Louis' (Mark Ruffalo) accidental death.

What follows is a roller coaster of a sci-fi movie that moves at breakneck speed to hide the fact that there's really not a lot going on. And even if there was, other movies have done it better. Reynolds steps up to do is quippy action man schtick in some Deadpool-esque dialogue and fight scenes, which I can't begrudge him for because it's what writes his checks and he's so damn good at it. Walker Scobell, who plays kid Adam, acts and talks like Ryan Reynolds so much it's uncanny, and their relationship makes for hilarious - and surprisingly moving - scenes.

Things really only get interesting when the CGI light shows stop and Reynolds holds back his naturally-exuding insincerity to provide some unexpected heart to The Adam Project. His dramatic scenes with younger Adam, his mom (played by Jennifer Garner), and his dad Louis tug at your heart strings in a way that almost makes you forget there are time traveling jets and futuristic soldiers with pulse wave weapons in this movie.

The Adam Project feels like a Mad Libs prompt given a multimillion-dollar budget, but there's enough heart to make it worth a watch. It's not a bad way to spend an hour and 45 minutes of your day, if only to see what it would look like if Deadpool teamed up with the Hulk to save Gamora.

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