THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU
The budding romance between a rising U.S. congressman and a gifted ballet dancer is unexpectedly complicated by otherworldly forces seeking to drive them apart by altering the very fabric of reality in this high-concept sci-fi thriller based on a story by famed author Philip K. Dick. David Norris (Matt Damon) is a rising New York congressmen whose everyman charisma has earned him a loyal following among locals. One night, after suffering a crushing political defeat, David is rehearsing his concession speech in a hotel bathroom when out of a stall wanders Elise (Emily Blunt), who was hiding out from security guards after crashing a wedding. The chemistry between David and Elise is instant and electric. But as fast as she appeared, Elise has vanished, leaving David to wonder if he will ever see her again. A few days later, as if by chance, David is boarding a bus for work when he spots Elise in a window seat. Though he manages to get her number this time, David is terrified when he arrives at his new job and discovers a mysterious group of men performing an unusual procedure on his paralyzed co-workers. Informed by the imposing and sharp-dressed Richardson (John Slattery) that he has just seen behind a curtain that few will ever know even exists, David agrees never to tell anyone of their encounter or talk to Elise again lest his entire memory be completely erased. But three years later, when David spots Elise walking down the street from the window of a city bus, he can't resist the urge to rekindle their romance. Unfortunately for the two young lovers, the mysterious agents at the Adjustment Bureau are determined to keep them apart at all costs in order to ensure there is no deviation from the master plan drawn up by "The Chairman" for the future of all humankind. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Director: George Nolfi
Cast: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, Michael Kelly, Terence Stamp, John Slattery
Release Date: Mar 04, 2011
Rated PG-13 for Brief strong language, some sexuality and a violent image
Runtime: 1 hr. 39 min.
Genres: Romance, Suspense/Thriller
The Adjustment Bureau is a high concept film that’s wonderfully shot that tries to be a lot of things all at once. First time director George Nolfi seems unable to focus his film. It’s as if we are watching his mind visually being projected on to the screen. The film takes so many thematic turns that’s it’s hard to get an actual feel for it. Nolfi’s heart is in the right place and there are plenty of high concepts rumblings at work, freewill vs. destiny, in the story here but he can’t seem to decide how to address it. As a result we get a shotgun approach. This film could easily be called a romance, Sci-fi, thriller, and even spiritual film. I don’t think anyone can question Nolfi’s eye behind the camera, he give his film a wonderful Kafkaesque feel to the whole proceedings while framing some shots with impressive talent. Matt Damon delivers a strong performance here but he really shines when he shares screen time with his costar. He and Emily Blunt have such wonderful chemistry on screen, their interactions are so strong and authentic that it really breathes life into the film. John Slattery and Terence Stamp, who apparently replace each other half way through the film, do fine work as the fedora wearing master planners. I would have liked to get a bit more from the characters but they aren’t really written that way, they merely serve the story. Anthony Mackie is given a bit more to work with and he’s enjoyable in the limited screen time he has, mostly in the last act. The last act feels a tad rush and not only because it becomes a chase film. Sadly, the finale feel artificial, removing any pop the story might have had if it’d finished on a more ambiguous tone. It’s a shame because there are parts of this film that work so well but it never quite reaches the heights of something like Dark City.