#45 / 365 – ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ – 106 mins
Cinema Challenge #19 / 115
Matt Damon stars in the thriller ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he’s ever loved across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York. On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) a woman like none he’s ever known. But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself-the men of The Adjustment Bureau-who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept…or risk everything to defy fate and be with her.
Based on a short story by Philip K. Dick (“Total Recall,” “Minority Report” and “Blade Runner”) ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ bills itself as an ‘Inception’ meets ‘Bourne’ style thriller – it’s not. What George Nolfi does play out in his directorial debut, is a very charming love story. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt make a compelling and attractive couple, showing some of the truest on-screen chemistry where this coupled with the sharp dialogue they are given to play with, make it the great strength of the film.
However there is a sci-fi aspect on display here, that briefly flirts with the intriguing notion – do our lives follow are predetermined path controlled by unseen forces, in this case it’s “the men in hats” lead brilliantly by Tony Slattery of TV ‘Mad Men’ fame and later on Terence Stamp joins the party as Hammer appearing as a sinister and higher up the food chain version of Slattery’s character to bring some menace and bite to the bureau – overall you just wish the story expanded deeper into where these adjusters stemmed from.
In conclusion ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ is a mixed bag of good performances, strong dialogue, very likeable characters and a concept that starts off well and tails off. Where all this played out against some stunning art direction of New York to make it a very enjoyable slick piece of entertainment.
I think my challenge needs ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ touch, as I am way off plan with it!