Archive for the ‘Adjustment Bureau; The’ Category

The Adjustment Bureau – review

The Adjustment Bureau

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice – RUSH

It’s a question that is as old as the beginning of time.  Are our lives pre-determined or are we given freewill to lead our lives the way we choose too?  The Adjustment Bureau, which is based off the Phillip K. Dick short story The Adjustment Team, attempts to shed some light on the age old question.  Matt Damon stars as David Norris, a young hot shot politician who is running for a Senate seat.  It seems he has everything locked up until an imposing photo from his past surfaces and squashes his run.  He soon runs in to the beautiful Elise, played by Emily Blunt, in a mens bathroom while preparing his speech to concede.  She changes everything for him.  The attraction between them is immediate, but she fades off in to the distance never to be heard from again…at least that was the plan.

Norris soon realizes that someone is following him and watching over him, as he searches to find her.  It is a team of Man Men-esque agents, led not-so-coincidentally by Mad Men’s John Slattery, that specializes in making the world go according to plan.  They carry a book which keeps the order of peoples pre-destined lives, and are sent out into the world by “The Chairman”.  The parallels between “god” and “angels” are subdued but you can quickly pick up on the correlation.  For some reason I kept thinking of the agents in Godard’s Alphaville while watching the film.  They both have that look and noir feel to them.  It seems that Norris was to meet Elise just once in the grand scheme of things, but his second chance encounter with her changes everything as he quickly realizes how madly in love with her he is.  He will do anything to be with her, even if it means changing the path his life is supposed to take, and perhaps in the greater scheme of things, the importance of future world events.

Norris soon begins to question the idea of pre-determination, confronting the agents directly.  Terence Stamp is soon sent in as the cleaner, to take care of the issue.  He lets Norris know that “The Chairman” once gave man freewill which resulted in, among other things, the Dark Ages, World War’s and The Great Depression.  It seems there is no longer faith in humanity.

The Adjustment Bureau has a lot of great sci-fi suspense elements to it, but those elements are actually just a disguise for what the film really is, and that is a romance film.  It’s going to cater to both male and female audiences with men enjoying that sci-fi/action aspect, and women enjoying the romantic/comedy aspects.  The man will do anything to be with the woman he loves, even bend the laws of space and time!  It does this without you really knowing it though.  The chemistry between Damon and Blunt is really fantastic, and there were some scenes, with fantastic dialogue that reminded me of Before Sunrise/Before Sunset. You’ll get sucked in to the action, the suspense, and the rock solid script, and of course the foundation of the story written by the legendary Phillip K. Dick.

Matt Damon is great, Emily Blunt is great, John Slattery is great, and Terence Stamp always gives me the chills.  The film doesn’t break any new ground in, but at this time in the season when most films that are throwaways from the studio are being released, you’ll be really entertained and surprised.

Grade: B+