Shawn Levy, who previously directed the uber-fun Free Guy reteams with Ryan Reynolds for Netflix’s time-travel adventure The Adam Project. To put it to a basic sci-fi test, one has to consider that this is a family-friendly entertainer, which, for obvious reasons, has Reynolds playing the same character he has played ever since Deadpool yet again.
From Stars Wars to some of the most famous time-travel movies, Levy references just about everything with both hit and miss results. While the jokes don’t always land, when it is the fast-talking, bring-down-the-house attitude that Reynolds brings to his cutesy ways, one can’t help but chuckle.
To add to that, The Adam Project is also occasionally moving, albeit overtly goofy about its sci-fi leaning; leading to a plot that is both juvenile and familiar. It doesn’t help that the film keeps shoe-horning its idea of ‘catastrophic events’ due to the characters’ time travel down our throats. Since this isn’t a particularly inventive fiction fable, that alone serves no purpose whatsoever.
Anyway, it is still a pretty watchable outing that could be a great double bill with some of the best time-travel (or otherwise) movies that I have put up on this list. Make sure you comment your recommendation of movies that you think would be a great companion for Netflix’s The Adam Project:
1. The Terminator (1984)
Talking about time-travel action adventures and not talking about James Cameron’s career-defining moment in The Terminator would be a crime that I don’t want to commit. The premise of a person being sent back in time to not let something in the future happen has now become dated, but Cameron’s The Terminator did the goofy premise a hands-on reinvention with The Terminator.
Much like The Terminator, Shawn Levy’s The Adam Project features time travel where a secretive resistance is formed and a rogue is born. The fact that Levy throws back multiple times to Cameron’s movie with references right and left is reason enough to double bill it with The Terminator.
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2. Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future has now become a sort of test for time-travel adventures. If a movie doesn’t bow down to the legacy of Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 classic, or the trilogy in general, then it simply doesn’t know what it is doing.
Levy and his co-stars acknowledge this pop-culture phenomenon, not just in their movie but in this promotional clip starring Christopher Llyod. Pretty much like The Adam Project, Back to the Future also features a young guy who goes back in time to mend things. In lure, also has a swing at his family’s problems and has a big cathartic moment towards the end. Both The Adam Project and Back to the Future also have fun with their sci-fi premise and are a good blend of comedy and low-fi shenanigans.
Watch Back to the Future on Prime Video
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3. Contact (1997)
Am sorry to have included two Zemeckis films here but one doesn’t have to second guess to see why that happened. The American director can be seen as a great example for young filmmakers who are unable to blend the mainstream cynicism of cinema with great, high–concept sci-fi plots that are still steeped in the human condition.
With Contact, Zemeckis took a look at Dr. Ellie Arroway’s overarching approach to communicating with an extra-terrestrial force, only to discover *spoiler alert* a vacuum in the time continuum that allows her to get over her grief after her father’s sudden departure. Pretty much like Contact, Netflix’s The Adam Project also deals with sons, mothers, and the trauma that they are trying to understand and fix, only to allow time to heal it.
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4. Frequency (2000)
I think very few people talk about Gregory Hoblit’s Frequency when it comes to father-son bondings and time travel in general. While the film doesn’t feature the traditional form of time-travel, wherein a young detective gets connected to his father’s radio back when he was a firefighter and was not dead yet, it is one film that serves as a great double bill with The Adam Project.
There are conspiracies, cross-fires, and grand celestial events that are the start of something that triggers the time continuum, but much like Levy’s film, Hoblit’s Frequency is also a goofy sci-fi thriller that keeps you invested in its wayward spiraling of events.
While slightly more intelligent and genuinely more thrilling than The Adam Project, Frequency is still an underrated science fiction narrative that needs to be seen.
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5. Looper (2012)
Talk about taking the ‘going-back-in-time-to-the-younger/older self’ premise, Rian Johnson’s excellent sci-fi thriller tumbles it over its head. With Looper, Johnson has devised an exceptionally original time-travel plot that also has a great b-movie premise attached to it.
While way above the idea of the goofy science-fiction things that The Adam Project features, the whole teaming up with a younger self in time to save or kill something of value, is what makes me want to recommend it nonetheless. As far as movies like The Adam Project are concerned, Looper is a film that uses the concept of time travel to say more important things about human beings and their means to survive.