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The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
A fun and funny and farcical romp about fate and love. The Bureau is a layer of men quasi angelswho watch over mere humans and guide their futures. The center of attention is Congressman David Norris (Matt Damon) who encounters a blip in the system. And helping him along (or not) is a young woman he meets twice by accident, Elise (Emily Blunt).
The rules are not very clear here, even though they get explained a couple of times. The Bureau men (and they are only men) seem to have unlimited powers at times (moving the floor to trip a running Norris) and other times are helplessly running to try to catch up with him. Then they reappear far ahead. There is a trick about going through doors (rather like "Monsters Inc.") but sometimes there are no doors and the men pop up here and there.
So you can't take this seriously and logically at all. Just go with the flow. Like the stricture that this huge god-plan, mapped in little notebooks, goes all to hell if two people fall in love. Or more accurately, kiss like mad. Remember that trick when the world is against you.
The movie works and will make you wonder and laugh and feel good despite its internal flaws. The main reason (for me) is the truly natural on screen chemistry and rapport of the two leads. It's as if they are hitting it off as we watch, really smiling and delivering clever comebacks with great timing. It's worth watching for Damon and Blunt above all.
I liked this one; it was a little different, with an intelligent and
unique script and small movie feel despite the calibre of actors and
available budget involved. Matt Damon & Emily Blunt take the leads here
and have genuine chemistry together, they were a treat to watch
At the core this is a love story but it's also thought provoking, do we really control our own destiny? and stylish (loved the 50's vibe from the bureau men and their magic hats). I would also call it action-ish without breaking form and going all over the top with explosions and CGI. There is a fantastic, on foot chase scene towards the end. The love story was well done too, believable as was 'David's' reaction to learning of the adjustment bureau. I really liked Anthony Mackie who played the adjuster with a heart.
The story follows rising politician David Norris, who learns that his life (and that of space and time in general) is and has been adjusted in order to keep him away from a beautiful dancer -the love of his life. These mysterious men have been grooming David to be the next president of the United States and will do everything in their considerable power to prevent him and Elise from being together.
The movie spans several years and I will definitely watch it again some day. 5/10/15
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When science fiction meets romantic drama in a Hollywood film, one of
them almost always suffers. Writers either lack the skill to pull off
the combination in a way that's mutually reinforcing and consistent, or
they lack faith in movie audiences to comprehend what they're watching
without lots of pace-killing exposition. In the case of "Adjustment
Bureau" we have the added Hollywood trope of political intrigue. The
result is only occasionally enjoyable. The rest is just a mess.
What's enjoyable are the performances of fine actors making the best of some sketchy material. Damon seemed a natural for the Norris character, even though he's done better work in the "Bourne" films. The interplay between him and Blunt is completely authentic on screen. Mackie, Slattery and Kelly are very good also, and Terence Stamp is always good for that suave, menacing role.
Unfortunately, the script seems more focused on humanizing the "adjusters" than in filling out the other characters. Oh, there's tons of back story on Norris and his family, mostly from Mackie, but the relationship between long-ago events and present-day reality seems either forced or tenuous. Blunt's Elise character has no back story at all, and her front story is strikingly one-dimensional.
The main problem, though, is simple logic. We're told that the Bureau has "the story" and is simply "adjusting" its characters to keep to the plot. But the plot keeps changing, apparently, and it never makes sense to me. Both Slattery and Stamp seem to have telekinetic powers (if only to make people fall down) as well as a sort of omniscience. Why, then, are they so powerless to prevent a simple kiss, or to predict that one of their agents will secretly aid Norris? Why does Stamp, after telling the Damon character why the powers-that-be can't trust lowly humans to manage their affairs through free will, minutes later send him on his way to prove his point? Why is Norris' political career so important to them? And the hat thing: why not just get an extra hat for Elise? I could go on, but suffice it to say that there are inconsistencies, plot holes and loose threads galore.
One personal peeve of mine is the obligatory celebrity cameo, specifically media figures who seem to appear in every single movie with a political angle -- even when, as here, politics plays a minor part in the story. It no longer adds verisimilitude to a film, if it ever did; it's just a cliché. And a self-defeating one, because many filmgoers these days don't watch CNN and have no idea who James Carville is. In coming years nobody will even remember these people, let alone recognize them.
I don't discount the problems inherent in making a story like this accessible to easily distracted audiences. I don't even want every question raised by the story answered. I just want the story to be internally consistent, to make sense on some level. It can be done, it has been done before. But not this time.
I saw the trailer to the Adjustment Bureau and thought it looked more
like a romantic drama! Luckily, for the story, the romance part of it
isn't the central theme and it's even necessary to the story.
Matt Damon is the youngest man trying to be elected as a Senator in the American elections. Before he's due to give an important speech, he bumps into a lady (Emily Blunt) who he falls for. However, apparently he was never meant to meet her and there are sinister powers who will go to any lengths to stop them ever meeting again.
The front cover of the film sums it up as 'The Boune Identify meets Inception.' Yes, I couldn't put it much better than that. It's a chase film with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt being pursued by people (albeit sci-fi baddies rather than moral government agents) and trying to sort the mess out.
If you like chase films or sci-fi, give it a go. There's no Oscar winning performances here, but there is a lot of fun and , without giving away too much of the plot, it's a good overall premise which gives you enough questions to talk about after the credits have rolled.
I love it! It was so much fun.
One could maybe predict the end but it didn't really matter. The plot was very well scripted. The whole concept of a higher power as an organization without an end of the world stuff was awesome.
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt look really good together. The romance isn't cheesy at all. It's nice and sweet. To top it all, Emily is humorous too.
I have watched it more than once and I still don't mind sitting through it again. It is one of such movies which light and entertaining at the same time.
Even without extraordinary acting or mind blowing CGI, this movie will keep you engrossed and leave you happy at the end.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Adjustment Bureau is a romantic action thriller film loosely based
on the Philip K. Dick short story,Adjustment Team.It stars Matt Damon
and Emily Blunt with a cast that includes Anthony Mackie, John
Slattery, Michael Kelly, and Terence Stamp.It was written and directed
by George Nolfi.
In 2006, Brooklyn Congressman David Norris unsuccessfully runs for the United States Senate. While rehearsing his concession speech, David meets Elise Sellas. Inspired by her, David delivers an unusually candid speech that is well-received, making him a favorite for the 2010 Senate race.On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas. She is 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 also known as 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 the Adjustment Bureau to be with her.
It's rare when a film is able to blend together two different genres so well, especially when they are two genres that you don't normally see together, in this case, science-fiction and romance.The on-screen pairing of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt is so believable and entertaining due to their great on-screen chemistry.Unfortunately,first-time writer/director George Nolfi struggles to maintain a consistent tone that one may find a bit muddled through the middle third and a finishes with a Hollywood-like ending as the story sadly descend into science- fiction nonsense after a bold start.Only the excellent character work from leads will keep you watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie turned out to be an interesting romantic science-fiction which concerns a politician by the name of "David Norris" (Matt Damon) who accidentally encounters divine beings responsible for determining his fate. By complete accident, he meets and falls in love with a woman named, "Elise Sellas" (Emily Blunt) who he is not supposed to become romantically involved with as it will alter the future course of events. Because of this he is then given a choice to either fulfill his destiny--and let Elise fulfill her destiny as well--or attempt to stay together and let the chips fall where they may. Now, rather than saying too much and possibly spoiling the film for those who haven't seen it I won't say what happens next. I will say, however, that this is a cute and imaginative movie which viewers might find enjoyable if they like films of this nature. That said, I rate this movie as slightly above average.
In my mind, Philip K. Dick is pretty much the greatest science fiction
author ever. From his pen we've received an onslaught of works that
have been spun into classic movies: Blade Runner, Total Recall, and
Minority Report are just a few examples. Recently, his story of an up-
and-coming Senatorial candidate who finds himself the observer of men
who carefully organize mankind's existence so that it pans out in very
specific ways was released on Blu-ray/DVD. It's nicely directly and
features some solid performances, but the screenplay is full of
holesso many, in fact, that it bears asking whether or not the thing
was even finished when it ended up in the hands of director George
As indicated, The Adjustment Bureau isfor the most partscience fiction. One might classify it as a fantasy, though elements of both are present. More than anything, though, it's a love story. When the previously mentioned politician is prevented from carrying out a relationship with a girl he bumped to after losing his most recent election bid, he does everything he can to defy the "powers that be." Our protagonist feels driven (by nothing more complex than deep-seeded love) to spend his life with a girl he'd met only once, even after he's informed that his "plan" calls for him to assume much higher duties that don't involve said romantic interest (he is, in fact, scheduled to one day become President). Mr. Damon wants none of this, however, if he can't have the girl.
And that's the plot. Damon's character darts around NYC, eluding obstacles placed along his route by the trench coat men of the enigmatic Bureau, occasionally exchanging dialogue with a rogue agent who believes the whole thing is a faulty endeavor. The philosophical and religious explorations related to free will are certainly thought-provoking, but these are never mined to their full extent. Likewise, we're never given any concrete information about what the Bureau really is (and who its members really are). Are they spiritual entities? Aliens? Trans- dimensional beings? We never know, and these questions end up being more burdensome than any grander subtext that the screenwriters tried to weave into the script.
A lot of people would likely say that worrying about the origins of the Bureau is criminal, as that's not really the focus of the film. I'd respond by saying there's some truth to that, but the minimalist philosophical dabbling of the story coupled with the "yeah, right" factor that ultimately arises from the presence of the all-knowing men in black is too problematic to ignore.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A young man running for the US Senate meets a mysterious, charismatic
woman on the night he loses the election. He falls in love instantly,
but higher powers have decreed they cannot be together, and set out to
keep them apart.
Great acting talent compels you to the first two thirds of this movie, but the inherent promise is of a great pay-off, and instead we get a damp squib.
Matt Damon plays David Norris as a humanised Bourne, a man driven to seek something out and fairly unstoppable in his insistence. Emily Blunt is Elise, and as usual lights up the screen with her naturalism. I first came across her in My Summer of Love, and was recently impressed with her in My Sister's Sister. Yet again, as in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, she takes a very average script and raises it up a notch. I think I may be in love with her. Anthony Mackie plays the near-omnipotent others beings as human and fallible, which makes it all the more interesting - think a down-to-earth version of Wings of Desire.
But what lets this movie down is that the premise is intellectually unsatisfying. It is laid out in its starkest terms by Terence Stamp as Thompson in his denial of free will. Apparently, anything noteworthy human kind has achieved has been due to the guiding hand of these higher powers, and anything dark - wars, genocide, environmental damage - is our own poor fault. So free will was an experiment that failed, and has been replaced with the illusion of free will.
Except... David and Elise have a love so strong, so unprecedented, that they have caused the higher powers to re-think the whole grand scheme.
Now, David and Elise have chemistry, but they aren't Romeo and Juliet, or Anthony and Cleopatra. They're not even Thelma and Louise. They're more Jack and Rose. So it is a hard sell to say these two have a love unprecedented in human history. And to base the ending, and so the whole film, on having the audience buy into that.
So go along to Adjustment Bureau for the ride, but don't get your hopes up about the destination.
This isn't necessarily a bad film, but it does indeed suffer from a lack of directorial discipline. The first half of the film, though riddled with fanatical implausibilities, is thoroughly entertaining and intelligently engaging. Nevertheless, this promising first hour is all but squandered in a second half plagued by silly expedients and laughable plot twists. In my opinion, the entire second half of the film felt rushed. For example, the acting, which had hitherto in the film enhanced the believability of narrative action, fell off entirely. The last fifteen (or so) minutes of the film are directed with such a sense of slipshod nonchalance that one can't help but feel like they're watching an entirely different film. The saving grace for the film is, in my opinion, the star power of Matt Damon coupled with a captivating first hour.
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