Sunday, July 10, 2011

DVD - The Adjustment Bureau

We go through life thinking that everything that happens to us is just as it comes. That step you tripped up on in the morning? You just weren't looking where you were going. When you wrote the wrong word in an essay and everything goes out of context? You just weren't trying hard enough. Yes, pretty much everything you do basically comes down to you, yourself, and no-one else. The Adjustment Bureau, however, takes a look at a different side of the story. That step? Somebody planned that to happen. That silly mistake that makes everything sound like gobbledy-goop? Yup, somebody planned that. Just who could plan such a thing? The men of 'The Adjustment Bureau', who walk around wearing suits and hats, carrying little books which determine everyones fate. Everyones lives seem to be going swimmingly for this team, until aspiring Senator David (Matt Damon) meets ballerina Elise (Emily Blunt). This was not supposed to happen. So now, the adjustment team have their work cut out for them as they try to keep David and Elise apart, and no matter how hard David fights to keep his girl, the team always have a plan to make him think twice about that.

The Adjustment Bureau is a film I have been looking forward to ever since I first heard about it. This was probably because I was interested in seeing how the pairing of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt went. I love them both as actors, but I never thought I'd see the day when they decided to make a film together. And let me tell you, they were a perfect pairing. A great deal of heart and emotion is needed to help this film work; as the audience really needs to root for the lovers otherwise the good premise would fall apart. Right from the get go, Damon and Blunt just have it. Damon has his sensible charm, and Blunt has her wild and lovable charm. Together, they are a really believable couple, which works out for the best. And I guess its good that Blunt has finally got a good movie to her name after a year or so of squandering her talents in such films as Gulliver's Travels, The Wolfman and Wild Target.

As much as I enjoyed watching the chemistry between Damon and Blunt (and believe me, I want to watch 100 more films with them in it), I think this film took a long time to get to it's actual point, and had a very uneven tone to it. For the most part, this film is a romance, and only in the last act does it decide to become a proper sci-fi/action flick. This didn't bother me that much though, because there was plenty of other material in it to get me thinking. Of course, there were all of those questions about fate and the forces that control it. But the one thing that stuck in my mind the most was about the work that this adjustment team does. Thompson (Terrence Stamp), who's the 'chairman' (kinda like God...this has a lot more religious themes than you'd think) of the team, explains to David that when they gave us humans free will, we started something awful. But you know what would be really awful? Living a life controlled by someone else. Therefore, our personalities can't be completely our own, our hard work isn't a result of us alone, and we have little to be proud of when something goes right for us. Having our lives be the result of something else is just a little sad, don't you think?

First time director George Nolfi did a phenomenally good job with his debut. Like Elise's ballet, this film is very contemporary. There is just something about it that seems fresh for a film of its stature. Nolfi, however, isn't a stranger to big Hollywood action flicks. He wrote Timeline, Ocean's Twelve and The Sentinel, but more recently, he wrote The Bourne Ultimatum, arguably the best out the series. Here, Nolfi bases his film on a story by renowned sci-fi writer Phillip K. Dick, and brings lots of questions that are open to be answered, a different sort of vision on the world and a romance to root for. He succeeds in making a smart film - it wouldn't be very exciting to someone who isn't open-minded - which is just a pleasure to watch until the ball really gets rolling at the end. There it becomes the tense thriller it should have been right the way through. But again, I don't really mind that this wasn't all that thrilling, the romance between David and Elise was more than enough. Plus, I really liked what the adjustment team had to say about our world.

THE VERDICT: Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star as star-crossed lovers, and they are a couple who will make you believe that they are lovers. The film itself is more romance than thriller, but it provides a different outlook on the world through a group of suited men wearing hats, which is always interesting.

What I hoped for:

What I got:


  1. The one thing that made me think when watching the trailer was 'How the hell did Matt Damon keep that hat on while running and leaping everywhere?'

    On a serious note though, you have made me pretty interested in the film now. I wasn't too bothered about it, but I am definitely going to check it out now that you have spoken so highly of it.

  2. Ah, glad to hear positive reception from you Stevee! I have not seen the film, but George Nolfi wrote my favorite action film of all time, The Bourne Ultimatum, and since this is his directorial debut I must give the film a shot. Nice work!

  3. Always been a fan of romantic sci-fis and this is one movie I've been looking forward to see (although I didn't seek it out at the theater). I don't even mind that it is more romance than thriller as you say. Still a couple weeks to go before it hits Netflix aaaargh!

  4. Cherokee - Because he's Matt Damon, obviously. Nah haha, I don't even know how he did that.
    And definitely check it out, it's an easy watch!

    Matt - I loooooove The Bourne Ultimatum, and this certainly isn't as good, but George Nolfi is a very good director. I can't wait to see more of him!

    Castor - I didn't mind that it was more romance than thriller, as Damon and Blunt were so great together! I hope you enjoy it.

  5. Interesting for you to like it so much Stevee....Personally I wanted so much more, the chemistry was nice but not enough for me.

    Nice to see another perspective though, great job!

  6. Matt Damon has the powers of God, this has now be established.

    Will check it out, though. Especially if it is an easy watch, as I feel I am going to sink back into watching films if they don't take too much out of me emotionally.


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