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|Index||412 reviews in total|
This is the most disappointing movie I have seen in a long time. I knew
very little about it before watching it. I purchased it because it was
on sale, and it was a sci-fi, thriller, romance with Emily Blunt and
Matt Damon with 7.1 stars on IMDb. I figured it had to be good. This
movie is more theology than sci-fi, and I assume the message is as
offensive to the faithful as to those who do not subscribe to any
"Selfishly follow your heart at all costs and everything will work out in the end even if it requires God to change His/Her master plan. Angels are nothing more than old, tired, bumbling idiots with magic hats easily overpowered by smart humans. Angels cannot prevent accidents, but can create circumstances that force the impulsive, brainless idiots who inhabit this planet to make adjustments in their lives."
To the faithful, such notions of God and angels should be offensive. To those who do not subscribe to any faith, the message seems to be, "We do not have freewill. There are masters of our fate. The only way to gain freewill is to ignore logic and act on impulse." This message seems equally offensive.
Unlike a well done science fiction story, the movie was never able to suspend my disbelief. Each plot twist was so far fetched and unrealistic that it just irritated me more. The resolution increased rather than absolved that irritation.
Everything else about the movie was first rate: the acting, editing, special effects, etc. Therefore, I felt compelled to give it more than a single star. However, all the audio visual candy in the world cannot make a poor story worth watching.
Like a nice soup, it has many components, each one nice and small, so
the whole thing goes smoothly. OTOH, it doesn't have much substance.
But, sometimes, that is "just what the doctor ordered", so there's
nothing wrong with that.
One could say that the (Phillip K. Dick) story this is based on had a rather different tale to tell (or "made a different dish from the same basic components"), but, one should keep in mind that this is a Hollywood adaptation of the story.
It has some fun and some funny moments, some romance, some suspense, some mystery, some action, some philosophy... Decent acting, directing, writing. Nothing really stands out, but, none of it is bad (most of it is actually good, just not great) and it holds together nicely. Which is much more than you could say about many movies these days.
I don't think a review or a score out of ten can accurately represent
Adjustment Bureau, and for that reason I will keep my review very short
except to say that I think this is a film that everybody should see.
It's a shame it somewhat fell under the radar.
I loved both K-Pax and Serendipity, and for me this is a perfect blend of the two films. Adjustment Bureau tells a story but doesn't quite join all the dots. It is a metaphorical interpretation of the idea of fate and a creator, and who doesn't love a great romance on the side.
Does it matter that we don't get to see the creator? Does it matter that a couple of things don't really add up? I don't think so, and in my opinion this film isn't about the intricacies of a plot but the concepts behind it.
The icing on the cake is Matt Damon and the lovely Emily Blunt.
David Norris is a rather arrogant fellow. As well he might be as he is
a Congressman who is expected to coast to victory in his upcoming
Senate race. The sky is the limit for young David Norris...but then the
sky comes crashing down on him. He loses that Senate race and, humbled,
makes a candid concession speech which goes over so well he immediately
becomes the favorite to win the next Senate race a few years down the
line. In this speech, by laying himself bare and talking from the
heart, David really connects with people. He'd really like to thank the
person who inspired the speech. That would be Elise who is...a woman he
just met in the men's bathroom? This intriguing woman might change
David's destiny. And that is a problem. David and Elise were never
supposed to meet. Says who? Some mysterious men in fedoras.
David and Elise have their restroom moment and then she's gone. David would very much like to find her. The men in hats would very much prefer he not do so. And they have strange powers which enable them to keep David and Elise apart. But then one of the men in hats screws up, David bumps into Elise and things start to get really, really weird. The men in hats are from the Adjustment Bureau. David catches them in the act of doing some adjusting on people in his life. They can change people's thoughts, ensuring that everything unfolds according to The Plan. What plan? The Chairman's plan. Who's the Chairman? David would surely like to know but the Adjustment Bureau is not going to be forthcoming with any such information. All they need David to know is that if he reveals their existence to anyone he will be "reset" which is a cute way of saying lobotomized. And he is not to see Elise ever again.
So of course David becomes more determined than ever to see Elise. The Adjustment Bureau throws obstacles in his path, David overcomes them. Eventually the Bureau has to call in the big gun, Thompson, the scariest dude in their arsenal. Thompson provides a little insight into the Bureau. He provides a little insight into why David is so important. And he makes it perfectly clear that he will have no qualms about crushing Elise to make sure David sticks to The Plan. Can love overcome? This is all very intriguing but as the movie plays out it is not quite as exciting as one might hope. Things get rather muddled, bogged down. For much of the film's running time there is not much energy to it. Matt Damon gives a good performance as David, a character who is initially unlikable who we very quickly start identifying with and pulling for. Emily Blunt is also quite good as Elise, creating a character who is instantly intriguing and always interesting. Easy to see why David would fall for Elise. Damon and Blunt have good chemistry but, seeing as the whole point of the movie is their two characters being kept apart, they are not ever really together long enough for that chemistry to pay great dividends. The Adjustment Bureau is of course shrouded in mystery. That mystery doesn't pay itself off as well as you might hope, instead of a big finish things sort of fizzle out. Questions are raised about humanity's free will but those questions are not really answered satisfactorily. In the end it doesn't quite all tie together. There's some good intrigue here, some good romance too. Damon and Blunt do very well, drawing you in and making you really invest in this relationship which, for reasons unknown, is not allowed to be. It's an intelligent film, one which makes you think. So there's a lot the film has going for it. There is the nagging sense though that the film falls just a little bit short of the greatness which seemed to be within its grasp. Maybe a slight adjustment here or there...
It wasn't until after watching "The Adjustment Bureau" that I learned
it's based on a Philip K. Dick story. And you wouldn't know that to
look at this movie, seeing as they've wrung all the Dickian paranoia
out of it in favor of an overt "love conquers all" angle. But even with
the dependable likability of Matt Damon (and the splendid Emily Blunt),
as a love story, it gets a bit frustrating. I mean if you're going to
have interventionist men in hats slinking around our world through
magic doorways, a little menace can only spice things up, right? Do we
ever doubt that this appealing coup0le will triumph over the odds? Nah.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Adjustment Bureau is subject to the disruptive ripple effects when
something goes wrong, as in the case of David Norris (Matt Damon), a
good guy from the working class with the drive and the charisma to
rise, per The Plan, to the White House. One the eve of his election to
the Senate, though, a skeleton from his past emerges, quashing his
otherwise all-but-certain victory. At his lowest point, with the
election returns resoundingly against him, he meets Elise (Emily Blunt)
under less that portentous circumstances.
The audience sees as he is practicing his concession speech in the men's washroom, and she's hiding there after getting caught crashing a wedding. They have an immediate attraction, but more, they also have an intense emotional connection. Mr. Mitchell (Anthony Mackie) fails to make David spill his coffee at the appointed time. David catches the bus to his new job instead of missing it, runs into Elise, and gets her phone number. When he arrives at work it is to the disconcerting discovery that the office folk are frozen mid-motion, and, those corporate hat-wearing types are doing something odd to his new business partner. From there on, we are then met with a series of different effects surrounding fate and free will.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Adjustment Bureau" is one of those movies that is intelligent,
beautiful, charming and just enough action to keep the story moving to
places you wouldn't expect. It is also one of those cutting-edge movies
that makes you want to watch a second time just to see what was done.
It's like watching a magician's entire act and being amazed, then
peaking behind the curtain to see where the rabbit really is before
he's pulled from the hat.
Matt Damon is the perfect lead as the charismatic, young politician who wants nothing more than make a real change to our country. He's also just been steamrolled in an election and is practicing his loser's speech in the men's restroom when Emily Blunt steps out of a stall to the stunned amusement of Damon's character. In a few moments of romantic flirting, Damon and Blunt kiss and she disappears. When they reunite a month later - to the chagrin of the by-the-book "Men in Hats" - things take a sideways turn when Damon realizes the world actually has specific designs and suffers potentially catastrophic changes if any of those designs are altered. When Damon's character is faced with the choice of never seeing the woman of his dreams ever again or finding her for a few wonderful moments of pure love before getting caught and being lobotomized permanently, his choices will alter not only his destiny but the woman he loves and possibly the country itself!
The supporting cast is splendid. John Slattery is the middle-man "Hat" who strong-arms Damon into changing his mind about Blunt's character and is believable in his bully-wannabe persona - until the real bully arrives. Terence Stamp is his evil best as the ultra-bully "Hat" who will stop at nothing - including causing physical pain to a main character - to make sure everyone follows "the grand plan". To see Stamp's supposedly righteous character stray to the dark side more and more in order to set right what went wrong is a very clever twist. Anthony Mackie is excellent as the put-upon, screw-up "Hat" who has ethics above his own bosses and wants to do the right thing, no matter the personal cost.
The story bobs and weaves through a series of doors and passageways in New York City and it's outlying communities. At times this can get confusing and may need to be watched a second time to keep up with the speed once Damon and Blunt start their race to the finish.
Here's the spoiler alert: I wish they would have shown "The Chairman" at the end. Reading the IMDb site, I hear there was an actual scene filmed where Damon meets "The Chairman" but it was axed by the distribution company due to the actor playing that character was of a minority. I wish the director and/or the powers that be who own the rights to the movie would create a "Director's Cut" DVD with the correct scene put back into the story. It would make much more sense at the end. Shame on whomever would have chopped a much-needed scene simply because of the color of one's skin and/or their religious heritage.
With that glaring exception at the end withstanding, this movie is well worth watching. The scenes are gorgeous. The cast is stellar. The story is twisted and intelligent enough to keep your interest throughout. It is a very well done piece of Hollywood magic. Downtown New York and it's huge concrete jungle has never looked so overwhelming and looms large as the backdrop. Highly recommended. 8 out of 10. Once they re-insert the scene with "The Chairman" at the end, it will be a 9 out of 10.
This is the worst film I have seen in a long time.
Boring and stupid.
So many plot holes.
Do not watch this film it is a waste of time.
It is as if a young child has been given millions of dollars to make a film I really do not understand how it is rated above 4 out of 10.
Why are their special hats that let you go through teleportation doors? Someone please explain this stupid film to me.
Really is very bad you have to believe me on this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Started out as a new Matrix , ended up as a funny story about hats. Matt was OK , but the rest of the cast was below average. Romance was unconvincing, and the whole idea became ridiculous with those tablets and stupid hats. It looks like someone rewrote the original screen and he is 10 yrs old. Started out as an intelligent idea,promising and all that.. After a while there is a rain who affects the destiny people ( and they are people by the way), and then there is a lot of plot missing. Romance never took off for real. On the other hand bureau? Really? God is a chairman? omg... I feel like this is a major cheat,and it has 7.1 - thats so weird..Matrix should be 15 then...
"The Adjustment Bureau" is an awesome drama/sci-fi flick to watch on a
This movie has that thriller feeling imbued into it as the storyline progresses, and is captivating. Until things are clear, you're left to question what's going on and what's everything.
I didn't see major flaws in this movie. Overall, it delivers itself fine.
The acting was fine as well.
The bureau concept, however, has some minor... misconceptions that those quite aware of "historical" facts or transcripts might not overlook; but that's just pet peeve of mine.
Overall, this movie is fine and deserves some attention.
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