How do you even criticize something that left no mark on your psyche whatsoever? That’s the problem I encounter when coming at The Adam Project, the second collaboration between actor Ryan Reynolds and director Shawn Levy following the not-particularly-great Free Guy (2021). Still, they seem to be enjoying their creative partnership, as Levy has just been announced as the director of Deadpool 3, so I guess I can look forward to that film bouncing off my brain like a sunbeam off a soap bubble in a year or two.
Well, as long as they’re having fun. And audiences seem to be having fun, too. Still, it’s not great when the most passionate and well-articulated defences I’ve seen of The Adam Project amount to “it’s the perfect film to switch your brain off and watch with the family on a Friday night.” Sure, there’s a place for undemanding cinema — we all have our comfort foods, and I deny no man, woman, or enbie their security blanket — but that still doesn’t make this a great film. At best, The Adam Project sits at the peak of the bell curve, right in the middle of the quality spread. It is, at most, the screen equivalent of a really good Big Mac, and as much as you might like McDonald’s, there’s a reason those restaurants don’t get Michelin stars. Maybe that’s me being snooty or classist or trying to gatekeep, but I doubt it; I like a decent, cheap burger once in a while. This one feels like it’s been sitting under the warmer for too long.