Paramount Pictures/Doane Gregory/Netflix
With » The Adam Project «, director Shawn Levy («Free Guy») first and foremost naturally follows the path of the early Steven Spielberg, combining an exciting sci-fi adventure with a tragic family history, spectacle with heart, as «ET — The Alien» to perfection (just not that well). While Levy visibly bows to the forefather of modern blockbuster cinema with his Netflix film, he also found a small, funny allusion to another master director and perhaps his most famous work in the film: John Woo and » Face/Off — In the Body of the enemy ”.
While Ryan Reynolds befits his usual Ryan Reynolds number and courts laughter with a veritable firework of more bad than right gags, action fans who just don’t know what to do with it anymore have at least one scene that makes them smile — ironically but not thanks to Ryan Reynolds, but to Nicolas Cage. So to say.
The «Face/Off» moment in «The Adam Project»
In the past, in which Louis Reed ( Mark Ruffalo ), the father of the title hero Adam (old: Ryan Reynolds, young: Walker Scobell ) is still alive, we see the lecturer with his students in the lecture hall, among other things — and one of which is particularly noticeable here. Not only because she speaks up, but also because her outfit alludes to «Face/Off», one of the greatest classics in action film history.
The student wears a sweater with a special print: next to a » John Travolta » inscription, Nicolas Cage grins from the garment. A clear homage to «Face/Off» , after all, the two Hollywood legends Travolta and Cage swap faces in it.
›› «Face/Off» on Disney+ *
If «The Adam Project» had been made when Paramount wanted to shoot the film with Tom Cruise in the leading role, this allusion might have been lost in the cinema — it would have been missed or only realized when the scene was already over. On Netflix, however, the whole thing is not a problem: If you don’t spot the detail, Ruffalos Reed will even point it out at the end of the scene — and then you can simply rewind briefly and press pause to relax and take a closer look at the piece of jewellery throw.
Anyone who now thinks “I have to have the sweater too” only needs to look around a little on the net. A wide variety of Cage Travolta motifs can be found on relevant sites such as Teepublic or RedBubble, and even Amazon can provide them:
» Face/Off-T-Shirt at Amazon *
However, the two films cannot really be compared. Finally, The Adam Project sees the titular hero meet his younger self to work with, while Face/Off sees the hero and villain swap roles. If you were to draw a comparison nonetheless, we would know who would lose out. «The Adam Project» may have the heart in the right place, but when it comes to action and time travel story, it doesn’t go beyond generic off-the-shelf goods, so that the FILMSTARTS review only gets a meager 2.5 out of 5 possible stars…
The FILMSTARTS review of «The Adam Project»
… while not so long ago, «Face/Off» was even worth its own podcast episode, in which moderator Sebastian, FILMSTARTS editor Björn and Yves from Moviepilot dealt with the question: Is «Face/Off» maybe even the best action movie of all time?
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