Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? A man glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York the only woman he's ever loved. On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Matt 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 a predetermined path... or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her. Written by
David Norris wears a baseball cap with the letter "F," standing for Fordham University where some of the movie was filmed. See more »
When Elise woke up, the alarm clock was at 8:20, yet she had received four phone calls, the most recent being from 11:03. Later she said she had received them in the same morning (not last night). See more »
Let's welcome my favorite alumnus, and the next Senator from the State of New York, David Norris.
Thank you! Thank you! Well hi there. My name David Norris, and I'd like to be the next Senator from the State of New York.
Hey there, what's your name?
I'm going to go through Yonkers, I'm going to go door-to-door and take the city that way...
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Yes the romance is nice but the idea is lost and presented with such blandness that it is hard to care
This film offers an interesting idea regarding an unworldly force that nudges and directs the path all of our lives take, it could have done a lot with it but what it decides to do is make a romantic film within this plot. Now there is nothing wrong with that in and of itself but someone should really have a word with the marketing department who decided that a concept-thriller would be easier to sell, since that is very much the film they set their campaign around not this one. Anyway, cheap marketing aside, I came to this film on DVD with the trailers a long distance memory and average word of mouth having lowered my expectations somewhat.
The film starts with some spark and drive to it as we are introduced to the characters and have the curtains pulled back to reveal what is really going on and the power that "they" have. At this point I was interested but as the film progressed this was slowly worn out of me. Some will say this is because I am not a romantic; while that may well be true I did actually like the romance between David and Elise, it was well played and the two had that sort of spark that was required to make me believe in them after so little time, so my problem with the film isn't that the central motivator for the events is this potential love between them. No, my problem with the film is with what it does with the idea itself which is practically nothing.
The film has very little pace and generally it drags itself along with the audience always looking over their shoulder to see where the film is we're already 2 steps ahead and it would be lovely if the film at very least kept up with us. It doesn't though, it plays its spiritual card very early on and it never presents a real danger or threat to be overcome the men in hats never come off as controlling or a threat or even anything close, at worst they come off as stuffy old kill-joys and in this way they make a poor "opposition" for our protagonist. I'm not suggesting I needed this to be an action movie, but the lack of any sort of sense of threat or urgency really hurts the film because this "idea" is the majority of the film, not the romance so to mess up the basis for your film is not going to go well.
It is a credit to the on screen presence and charm of both Damon and Blunt that the romance side of the film works well, they both held my attention and kept me interested even when the rest of the film was so very light and surprisingly bland. Mackie, Slattery and Stamp deserved better all three of them seemed to be phoning it in without anything really going on in their performances, only the odd flutter of urgency gave them good moments but otherwise they are let down. And they are let down by writer/director Nolfi; this guy has been the writer on a couple of big money-makers but he has done himself no favours with this effort he loses the idea and gets tied up with the romance, forgetting that the idea is the story, not the romance. He lets his cast down and he lets the audience down it still all looks expensive and professionally done, but this is for little comfort when the story-telling is so fluffed.
The Adjustment Bureau may well be built on a good idea (I will find and read Adjustment Team) but it does very little with it. The romance at the core is engaging but the idea is lost and is handled badly. There is little of interest, threat or pace about it; it isn't a terrible film by any means, it is just so average and lacking in edge that I really found it hard to care and the fact that I was often ahead of it in regards narrative really didn't help either.
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