The Adjustment Bureau Reviews
However, the tabloid media are determined to find dirt and throw his otherwise successful campaign off track. On election night before delivering his highly constructed concession speech, David gets alone time in the gents bathroom where he attempts to regain his composure over his annihilation in the latest poles and come to grips with the campaign loss.
Burst in Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). Unable to keep her silence hidden in one of the stalls, Elise an outspoken, free-spirited and beautiful contemporary dancer introduces herself. The connection is instant, undeniable and sealed with a kiss.
Pulled away form his impulsive tryst by his campaign adviser but inspired by Elise's candid attitude, David throws months of prepared coddled caution to the wind and delivers the off-the-cuff impromptu speech of his career, setting himself in good stead for candidacy next time round.
Putting politics aside for the three years till the following state election, David rejoins the rat race in a monotone holding pattern. Until a mistake is made, and by chance he catches a bus he was meant to miss and stumbles back upon Elise. The connection still strong, the two share witty banter, David gets her number and they part company on the brink of a developing relationship.
However, when David arrives at work early (due to the early bus catching fluke) not all is as it seems. His entire office is frozen in time and a group of mysterious men wearing suits a 1950's style fedora and are the only ones moving, seemingly erasing the time and memories of his coworkers.
Panicked, David begins to run, however the unusual men keep opening doors like portals that seem to lead to peculiarly impossible places and stopping David at each turn. Realising that David will never let it go, the adjustment bureau who monitor the balance between chance and fate in the human world reveal their existence and the importance of their secrecy.
A jolt to his system, David is told by the 'adjusters' that the meeting between him an Elise was orchestrated by the bureau to keep him on the right political track. But their overwhelming connection is too much and the adjusters; foreseeing the future in their tracking books (Harry Potter's Marauders map meets a crystal ball of changing fate options), know if they remain together neither will reach there potential.
Determined not to be kept apart by the bureau's whim, David desperately tries to find a way to prove their theories wrong. Tricking chance with repetition and with the help of a rouge adjuster 'angel', David tried to break the chain of pre-ordained events. Can he once again find Elise? Will she accept his bizarre explanations? Can he bet the adjusters at their own game? And can love trump over fate?
Adapted from another short story written by Philip K. Dick; who inspired Blade Runner, Minority Report and Total Recall; this carefully constructed sophisticated blockbuster and its philosophical theme is basically inception for romantics.
Meandering between its universally recognisable romantic fare of love lost, love found, free will and fate and the brain-tweaking moments of thrilling paranoia, this movie lacks the punch and magic of either genre. The "behind the curtain" theme similar to that of The Matrix and The Truman Show relies too heavily on simplistic special effects not storyline or foundation.
Damon and Blunt both deliver their characters well sharing a pleasant on-screen chemistry where the flirtatious scenes feel warm and nicely improvised. Terence Stamp has a great screen presence as "the chairman's" (presumably gods) last resort head adjuster.
The Verdict: Distracted from the concept of the presence of overseers of happenstance, this movie deviates into a stock standard romance. Losing that burgeoning question of is fate punctuated by a higher power? This film is a little weak and highly predictable.
Published: The Queanbeyan Age
Date of Publication: 11/03/2011
Trying to crack through the collective's motivation is the main slowing point in the film, and while Damon has been down this road with Jason Bourne, this one seems a little more stilted and harder to get into at points. A good conspiracy film requires the viewer to catch a potential line of logic to follow, right or wrong, but this one has a hard time allowing the viewer to do that, as it flits between the conspiracy and the love story throughout.
When the film pushes towards its end, however, it starts to gather steam and pushes the characters along their lines almost to the point where they crack the Bureau's door open to the big chair, but they opt to keep that particular notion off the table in the end, which is not necessarily bad.
The acting is good, the chemistry between Blunt and Damon is solid and carries the movie, and ultimately it overcomes its sluggish points to be a reasonably entertaining film.