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Ryan Reynolds' comedic charm (yet again) turns this formulaic sci-fi adventure into watchable fare.

This big-budget Netflix exclusive reunites the Free Guy team of Reynolds and director Shawn Levy – who will be combining forces once again for the recently-announced Deadpool 3 – but it doesn’t show the ingenuity of last summer’s sleeper hit.

After accidentally crash-landing in 2022, Reynolds’ time-travelling fighter pilot Adam Reed teams up with his 12-year-old self – played impressively by newcomer Walker Scobell – for a mission to save the future.

Young Adam is still trying to come to terms with the sudden death of his quantum physicist father Louis (Mark ‘Hulk’ Ruffalo) in a car crash a year earlier – and is giving his Mum Ellie (Jennifer Garner) a tough time by fighting at school.

But when he realises this mysterious stranger that has crash-landed in the woods near his house is actually his older self from a dystopian 2050, they must embark on an adventure to stop their father’s greedy friend Maya Sorian (The 40-Year-Old Virgin’s Catherine Keener) from using his technology to monopolise time travel for her own benefit in 2018.

And older Adam has an ulterior motive to go back to that date too – to track down his wife Laura (Avatar’s Zoe Saldana) who's been stranded in that timeline.

Unfortunately, the story itself is hampered with seen-it-all-before, if admittedly slickly-produced, set pieces and an unimaginative lead villain turn with the grossly under-utilised Keener – as it intermittently turns into an almost Spy Kids-alike actioner with the 12A constraints.

But with noteworthy chemistry between Reynolds and Scobell, this still provides a serviceable – and sometimes emotionally moving – project for any family to undertake.

ESP Rating: 3/5

Gavin Miller

Netflix Exclusive, Out Now

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, Jennifer Garner, Alex Mallari Jr & Zoe Saldana

Running Time: 1 Hr 46 Mins

Director: Shawn Levy


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