The “Amblin” brand is something filmmakers of a certain generation – JJ Abrams, Colin Trevorrow, Shawn Levy – often chase. It’s as much of a feeling as it is a tone and a look, harkening back to the cinematic age of wonder that delivered E.T., The Goonies, Gremlins, and Back to the Future. We usually see a movie that goes after that Amblin vibe, but misses it ever so slightly. But Levy’s latest collaboration with Free Guy star Ryan Reynolds hits the bullseye square in the middle, and manages all of the nostalgic feels from our collective cinematic childhoods. Press play on that trailer above, and escape into the magic of this movie.
As you can tell from the trailer, The Adam Project -- which already is generating positive reviews -- involves time travel. Ryan Reynolds plays a pilot from the future who must return to his childhood on a mission… which I will choose to protect, because the trailer keeps the details secret. Along the way, he encounters his younger self (a perfectly cast Walker Scobell), confronts an unexpected wave of emotional issues, disregards all of that Butterfly Effect nonsense, and leaps through some of the most exciting sci-fi action since the OG Star Wars trilogy. Not an exaggeration.
CinemaBlend’s own Mike Reyes caught The Adam Project in New York City and described it as TimeCop meets Field of Dreams, and that’s dead-on accurate. Building off of the chemistry they established in last year’s Free Guy, which won over critics and recently scored an Oscar nomination, Ryan Reynolds and Shawn Levy continue to inject genuine human conflict and authentic emotion into high-concept science-fiction pitches. Though a VFX artist recently teased Free Guy 2 to CinemaBlend, the duo followed up with this original film instead, and we are delighted. To me, The Adam Project is the closest any movie has gotten to reclaiming the magic of Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future trilogy. It’s that effective.
But it isn’t just Ryan Reynolds carrying The Adam Project (or trolling his co-stars as they wrap filming). As mentioned, the young Walker Scobell is ideally cast as a younger version of the Reynolds hero mold, a sarcastic and self-deprecating kid who has bully issues, daddy issues, a chip on his shoulder, and a destiny that he’s not yet aware of. The 13 Going on 30 reunion of Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo has all of the expected feels. And when the movie detours away from the heart and into the sci-fi thrills, it never skips a beat, thanks to Shawn Levy’s solid handle on the material.
My only lament at the moment is that The Adam Project won’t be seen in theaters… unless Netflix has alternate plans of which we’re unaware. From what we know, The Adam Project lands on the streaming service beginning on March 11.We’re also constantly updating the 2022 Netflix Movie Schedule, because they have plenty of titles making their way into our homes, and you want to stay as up to date as possible.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.