Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau Review

Based on the short story “The Adjustment Team” by Philip K Dick, The Adjustment Bureau stars Matt Damon(The Bourne saga, Good Will Hunting) as David Norris, an up and coming politician, running for Senate, and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) as a talented dancer. Following an unsuccessful election campaign, Damon and Blunt meet for the first time in a hotel bathroom, when Damon is practising his speech, and Blunt is on the run from security for crashing a wedding. What follows is a short conversation where they instantly connect, and ends in an kiss which is interrupted by Damon’s aide.

Their meeting was not coincidence. It was staged by The Adjustment Bureau, a group of individuals led by The Chairman (insinuated as God), who adjust small events to ensure that we humans stay on our path, or destiny. Although the meeting between Damon and Blunt was devised by The Bureau, it was only meant to be a passing moment, and they were never meant to be together. The film’s plot is based around The Adjustment Bureau trying to stop Damon and Blunt from being together, and explaining the reasons.

When I first heard the premise for this film I was a little intrigued, nothing more. I am a sucker for sci-fi, and given that this was a fairly original concept it piqued my interest. When I first saw the trailer I would have to say I was somewhat disappointed. It didn’t look quite like the film I expected it to be and was worried it would be a mess. In the lead up to it’s release I had heard various good things and decided to give it a shot.

How glad I am that I did. Now I am not going to say this is a fantastic film, but I will admit I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. The chemistry between Damon and Blunt is there for all to see, and at times it felt so natural you could be forgiven for forgetting this is a movie romance. The Adjustment Bureau play their part well, and I quite liked the large scope they were given. The main agents are played by John Slattery (Mona Lisa Smile, Charlie Wilson’s War), Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Notorious) and Terence Stamp (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Limey), however you see many other agents and their HQ which gives you an impression of their grandeur.

There is very little to fault this movie on. The performances were strong, whilst the pace of the film was probably spot on. I was worried that this would be a fast paced cat and mouse film and you would lose the romance, but that fear ended up being unfounded. Even the effects used, how little they were, were stunning. In fact my only real criticism of the film is it’s ending. Without giving spoilers, it closes the story without any real cliffhangers, but it just felt a little rushed and ultimately weak. At running time of just over 100 minutes, I feel that they could have given the film another 15 minutes and finished it better, but that’s just my opinion.

Overally rating, 4 out of 5 stars

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