The Adam Project Ending, Explained: Does the Reed Family Save the Future?

Image Credit: Doane Gregory/Netflix

In essence, ‘The Adam Project’ is the ‘Red Notice’ of the time-traveling subgenre. Netflix seems to have mastered the art of making genre films that deliver a wholesome, fun experience. They have action, romance, family drama, humor, and pop-culture references — the whole nine yards of entertainment. In ‘The Adam Project,’ Ryan Reynolds travels through time, romances Zoe Saldana, and fights an evil industrialist. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of the film ‘SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Adam Project Plot Synopsis

The film begins in 2022 with a 12-year-old Adam (Walker Scobell). The casting directors did an excellent job finding someone who can convincingly portray a younger version of Reynolds. Scobell’s Adam is sarcastic without being exhausting and too smart for his own good. He gets badly bullied at school because he can’t stop himself from getting into those situations. A year and a half ago, he lost his father, Louis (Mark Ruffalo), and the resulting grief and anger seem to have found an outlet in provoking the bigger boys in his class. He also lashes out at his mother, Ellie (Jennifer Garner), often unconsciously but always unjustifiably, not even trying to realize that she is grieving as well.

One day, after his mother has gone out on a date, Adam finds a man (Reynolds) in his father’s garage. This strange man has a pilot suit on, has been shot, knows how to close the fridge, and knows his dog’s name. Adam has seen enough movies to realize that the man is a future version of himself. Being a boy at the threshold of puberty, he asks the most important question to his older self: does he ever get laid?

Image Credit: Doane Gregory/Netflix

In ‘The Adam Project,’ director Shawn Levy and his writers have approached grief and memory in a very interesting way. Being chronologically closer to his father’s demise, Young Adam makes his mother the victim of his sarcastic outbursts. Big Adam has realized how horrible he used to be to his mother and has come to regret it. Contrarily, Big Adam has come to believe that he and Louis shared a strained relationship. He thinks that Louis’ work, the eponymous Adam Project, was more important to him. With memories of Louis still fresh in his mind, Young Adam knows that it wasn’t the case. The two Adams end up helping each other with their issues. And by the end of the film, they emerge as better versions of themselves.

Big Adam is in 2022 by accident. He was aiming for 2018 when he believes his wife is. As he reveals to his younger version, the future is bleak. On a good day, the 2050 he has come from is the dystopic future Earth from the ‘Terminator’ films. The person responsible for this is Maya Sorian (Catherine Keener), their father’s corporate partner. Louis invented time travel. After his demise, Sorian became rich by monetizing the most valuable resource on Earth — time.

Adam’s wife, Laura (Saldaña), discovered certain anomalies and went back to 2018. According to official reports, she died during re-entry. When Sorian and her lackeys come for Adam, Laura comes to her husband’s rescue. It is revealed that she has been in the present timeline since 2018, spending four years alone, hoping that Adam will somehow find his way to her.

However, their reunion is brief. She sacrifices herself so Adam and his younger version can get away. Because of the extensive damage it has sustained, Adam’s time jet can make only one jump. If he and Young Adam travel to 2018 and fail their objective, they will be forever stuck there. But neither can pass up the chance to see their father again, so they instantly make the decision and travel to the past.

The Adam Project Ending: Does the Reed Family Save the Future? How Did Maya Sorian Alter the Fixed Time?

Yes, Big Adam, Young Adam, and their father save the future. In ‘The Adam Project,’ the concept of fixed time denotes the one place in time where an individual belongs on a quantum level when they are not traveling through time and conversing with their younger self. Given that in 2022, it had been a year and a half since Louis’ passing, we can safely presume that he died at some point in 2021. After that, Sorian built her business empire using Louis’ research as the foundation.

The issue is that it didn’t happen that way in the original fixed time. Sorian traveled to November 2018 and spoke to her younger self right around the time Louis’ particle accelerator — or the Adam Project — went online. Older Sorian gave the younger version of herself key information about how to proceed with the project more smoothly. In a scene that seems to make a direct reference to films like ‘Back to the Future Part II’ and even ‘Timecop,’ Older Sorian visits Younger Sorian while the latter is seen speaking to a Senator over the phone, trying to convince them about the project. It seems with the help of Older Sorian, these types of problems get taken care of.

Image Credit: Doane Gregory/Netflix

The two Adams visit their father. Since his MCU outing, Mark Ruffalo has further perfected his disheveled scholar act. Despite his limited screentime in ‘The Adam Project,’ he shines. Louis is initially reluctant to help his sons, not because the only way to save the future is to destroy his life’s work, but the ramification of the deed itself. Still, he shows up to help his sons as they try to get into Sorian’s facility.

They retrieve the ISPCA — Infinitely Shifting Plasma Containing Algorithm — which Louis designed to stabilize the wormholes used for time travel. During the climax, the accelerator starts to come apart. When Older Sorian tries to shoot at the Reed family, the bullet turns in mid-air and hits Younger Sorian, killing her and erasing Older Sorian.

The armor-piercing bullets apparently contain magnets inside, which get dragged by the particle accelerator. Louis’ sons try to tell him what happened to him. But even when it comes to his own fate, Louis is staunchly idealistic. He refuses to listen. In a poignant scene, the three of them play catch until the Adams go back to their own time.

Do Adam and Laura End Up Together?

Yes, Adam and Laura end up together in the new fixed time. No one knows what happened in the original fixed time. But in the one that Sorian altered in her favor, Louis’ death made Adam deeply depressed. He virtually goes through his high school as a ghost, without making any social dent. Still, he gets to attend college on a scholarship, but that gets taken away as well. He subsequently joins Air-Force, where he discovers his penchant for flying and meets Laura.

Image Credit: Doane Gregory/Netflix

He is still in college in the new fixed time, which implies that his scholarship hasn’t gotten taken away. He and Laura meet almost under similar circumstances as before, with her once more ending up in the wrong class. They soon start to realize that they somehow know each other. Adam volunteers to show her the way to class, just like he did before. The future seems to be bright for these two individuals.

Read More: Where Was The Adam Project Filmed?