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Catherine Keener is cacklingly evil as the time-traveling despot who only wants Adam to return to the future she controls (and if he won’t, she’s going to kill him). Keener is flanked by a legion of faceless goons, who Big and Little Adam take out in a series of flashy set pieces, aided by futuristic weaponry that Little Adam is very much enamored with (just as well these goons are faceless, otherwise we’d be watching a 12-year-old joyfully murder a series of strangers…) The gadgets and spaceship chases have Star Wars vibes, with Reynold channeling Han Solo and Scobell on the right side of The Phantom Menace Anakin. And the time travel, along with the Daddy- and Mummy- issues that come with it, is pure Back To The Future.
If it wasn’t packed enough, add Zoe Saldana into the mix as a lost love interest from the future, who is a total badass and really isn’t in it very much, as well as all the sciencey macguffins you can eat. While you’re trying to get your head round exactly what the rules of the exploding thingy that the gang has to do something or other with are, and which exact time travel model the film is following (we think it’s the Grandfather paradox), The Adam Project tries to distract you with emotional whammies.
The Adam Project has it all: romance and lost love. The meaning of death and what a life well lived entails. The nature of memory. Learning to love yourself (yep!). And spaceships and robots and light sabers and all sorts.
So it’s a bit messy as a film. But it’s also unapologetically good natured. It’s schmaltzy, sweet and nostalgic, and while this is nothing like Don’t Look Up tonally or stylistically, there’s a particular scene between Big Adam, Little Adam and their dad that does very much have echoes of the “We really did have everything, didn’t we?” moment in that apocalyptic vision. We don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to tell you that The Adam Project is nowhere near as bleak and nihilistic as Don’t Look Up. It’s more of a hug your mum, play catch with your dad and snuggle the dog vibe. Or alternatively, cuddle up with your loved ones, watch The Adam Project, bask in it’s benevolence, or pick apart its flaws: whatever is your pleasure.
The Adam Project is available to stream on Netflix on March 11.
Source: Den of Geek