Science fiction author David Brin says there is just one reason for time travel: “Make it didn’t happen.” The idea of correcting, no, preventing one mistake is an irresistible fantasy.
And whether it’s about protecting the future mother of the only hero who can lead a rebellion against Skynet or making sure your own parents fall in love so that you and your siblings will be born, the movies have given us some of our favorite stories of rescue operations by traveling through time. “The Adam Project” is a popcorn pleasure from the director and the star of last year’s “Free Guy.”
It begins with a banger, indeed one of the banger-iest songs of all time, Spencer Davis Group’s 1966 “Gimme Some Lovin’.” It is not there to tell us where we are in time or anything about rocket ship pilot Adam Reed (Ryan Reynolds). No matter, it’s just there to bring a jolt of energy as we join the story mid-chase.
We know Reynolds can play other characters, but here he is what he does most and best, a snarky action hero. “What are you doing, Captain?” the instantly recognizable voice of Catherine Keener asks over speaker. “I think it’s pretty obvious I’m stealing this jet.”
We are told that it is 2050 and time travel exists but we don’t know it yet. And we can see that Adam is in trouble. Both he and the ship have been hit. “I’m sorry to interrupt what I’m sure is going to be a really scary threat,” he says as he jams her tracking system and evades capture by escaping through a wormhole that takes him back to 2022.