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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
If your looking for Bourne meets Inception then you wont find it here.
The story is of a man trying to change his destiny and win the girl he is not supposed to be with.
Its has quite a slow place but it is a very good and original film. There is solid acting as usual from the fantastic Damon and Emily does a good job as his love interest. Though the film is original and a very good watch it isn't a classic which is a shame because all the parts are there if there was a bit more action and a bit more focus on the hidden world it would have been better. Worth a watch but certainly can't be compared to Bourne or Inception.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is predicated upon the age-old debate of whether life is
predetermined or left to our free will. It also offers the supposition
that perhaps life is a compromise between the two concepts: We are able
to control the seemingly inconsequential aspects of our lives, but any
significant choices we make are decided by a higher being. This higher
being is of course called God, or by any other name given to Him by
"The Adjustment Bureau" questions whether the adjusters (angels) and by implication, God, has the moral right to intervene and direct human destiny. Does the end justify the means? Should a desired outcome take precedence over free will?
The film, however, ends on a positive note...that free will can be exercised by one's determination and that even God himself is willing to make compromises.
I found the movie entertaining and thought provoking. It balances the action and philosophical sequences well. Highly recommended.
Philip K. Dick ((December 16, 1928 - March 2, 1982) grows more popular
as a writer in contemporary culture than he was during his lifetime. He
typically focused on the fragile nature of what is "real" and the
construction of personal identity. His stories often become surreal
fantasies as the main characters slowly discover that their everyday
world is actually an illusion constructed by powerful external
entities, vast political conspiracies, or simply from the vicissitudes
of an unreliable narrator. All of his work starts with the basic
assumption that there cannot be one, single, objective reality.
Everything is a matter of perception. The ground is liable to shift
under your feet. A protagonist may find himself living out another
person's dream, or he may enter a drug-induced state that actually
makes better sense than the real world, or he may cross into a
different universe completely.' Given this background information about
the origin of the idea of THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, the story adapted for
the screen from Dick's 'Adjustment Team' by writer/director George
Nolfi (The Bourne series, Ocean's twelve, etc), offers a new
appreciation for this well-timed suspense thriller love story - 'Love'
being the operative word.
David Norris (Matt Damon) is running for New York Senator guided by the counsel of his friend and campaign manager Charlie (Michael Kelly) and they seem to be on a wining track. David meets the very beautiful dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) in the strangest of circumstances and their attraction, peppered with very fine comic repartee, is immediately apparently. Past faux pas of David's appear in the media and his chances of winning the election seem to be diminishing. At this point David meets some hatted gentlemen - Richardson (John Slattery) and Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie) - who represent the adjustment bureau, a group of men who follow the life plan set by the Chairman to keep people in line with their intended destinies. David is instructed to never see Elise again as she is not part of his planned life (a career that despite setbacks is supposed to eventually lead to the Presidency of the US). From this point on it becomes a challenge for David to either obey the adjustment team or follow his heart and be with Emily. After a separation of three years David sees Elise again and the fire of love burns even more brightly. David is warned that if he follows his heart (his free will) he not only will not become the man of his career dreams but that he will also destroy Elise's assigned future of becoming the world's most honored dancer/choreographer. Which drives succeed and how they happen is a wild chase by David and Elise to run toward their own free will through mazes and secret passages and strange situations a s devised by Richardson, aided by Harry, and controlled by Richardson's replacement, Thompson (Terrance Stamp). It is a struggle between destiny and free will.
There is a fine line in Philip K. Dick's story ideas that teeters between the credible and the pure sci-fi direction. In this film the midline is found and the reason the strange story succeeds so well is due in great part to the extraordinary on-screen chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, two actors who continue to grow in stature, having that ability to pull off sophisticated comedy with action packed suspense. The entire cast is excellent and seems to be responsive to the well-conceived direction of George Nolfi. THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU is first and foremost a love story, and a very fine one at that. In order to completely appreciate this film the audience must relax and go along with Dick's ideas - then it all seems very right!
Matt Damon's new movie outing is a science fiction romance telling the tale of a young charismatic and slightly unorthodox congressman David Norris (Damon) who is running for the United States Senate. During his campaign he meets Elise (Blunt) a beautiful contemporary dancer who bestows great honesty and wisdom upon him in the men's toilets (it's where all the pearls of wisdom are discovered) before their obvious attraction boils over, resulting in them locking lips with each other....how romantic. Thank goodness their tryst is interrupted by Norris' best friend and campaign manager and it seems without a name they are destined never to meet again. Later, however Norris is on his way to his new job working with his best friend Charlie the campaign manager he happens to sit next to the delightful Elise again and the attraction is still very much apparent. But alas this meeting was not destined to take place, a lone suited man in the park was to spill coffee on Mr Norris ensuring that he would need to return home and change his shirt thus meaning he would not see Elise again. Soon after arriving at his new employers he bears witness to an unexplained event, strangely dressed men in Charlie's office seem to be performing odd things to his uncharacteristically still friend and when he is seen he is chased and promptly caught. He awakens in another realm (masquerading as a warehouse) and discovers that the real world, his world is influenced and manipulated by the shadowy figures in the background. Life's a stage and they are the stage managers, prop guys and theatre directors. Norris is introduced to the Adjustment Bureau a group of celestial like beings who guided by the Chairman (you never see him....hint hint) help keep the human race from descending into anarchy and chaos. What ensues is a battle of wills of epic proportions as Norris fights to be with the woman he loves even if fate seems to have another design for him. This is an intriguing notion for a movie and you won't be surprised to learn (actually you might be) that the original was penned by the master of future visionary Phillip K Dick the writer of the original story behind 'Blade Runner'. This adaptation is clever as it infers that there are forces at work that ultimately determine what we do and were our lives will lead us and free will has nothing to do with it. Ironically Norris complains to Elise about having his life controlled, from everything he says, to the clothes and shoes he wears which is itself some measure of control. It is when she inspires him, during their first encounter, to be honest and true that he is set on a new path. However a path is already pre-ordained for him, but his love and no doubt rebellious temperament will not allow him to conform and he fights to stay with Elise despite the predictions of impending disaster from the Bureau members if he chooses to stay with her. This is a clever and well thought out script from the writer of the 'The Bourne Ultimatum' and it is directed with confidence and conviction. The leads exude an effervescent chemistry which draws you in and makes you care for their predicament. The members of the bureau are excellent with Anthony Mackie ('The Hurt Locker') performing his role with a quiet but awesome wisdom beyond his years. It was genius for George Nolfi to construct the story around a politician who rebels from one level of control only to be subjected to another. The religious undertones are ambiguous but at the same time clear. Are the Adjustment Bureau agents in fact angels and the Chairman in fact God...that fact is deliberately left unclear and it is for you to decide this conundrum for yourself. Life is not entirely in your hands, there are just too many variables, surely there has to be some supreme being controlling your life from behind the curtain doesn't there?? You either embrace that undeniable fact or try your damnedest to change your destiny....will love conquer all??? Check out this mesmerising romantic thriller and judge for yourself. 'The Adjustment Bureau is on general release now and I implore you to check it out!
The Adjustment Bureau stars Matt Damon, as David Norris, an up and
coming congressman of New York, and Emily Blunt, as Elise Sellas, a
rising professional dancer. The story follows David, who is in the
middle of campaigning for a Senator seat for New York, and on the night
of the election he finds that he has lost and must deliver his
concession speech. When he stops into the bathroom he unexpectedly runs
into Elise, who is hiding from security because she was caught crashing
a wedding in the same hotel, they immediately feel something strong for
each other. We are also introduced to the mysterious group of men that
are always watching behind the scenes, with notebooks, business clothes
from the 60s, and most importantly a fedora. Without going into too
much detail about who they are and what they do, because that would
really ruin a pretty fun and intriguing part of the whole story, they
essentially make sure that everything goes as planned (Every person has
a certain path, and their job is to make sure everyone stays on course.
There are strong religious themes here however the film does a pretty
good job I think of addressing those themes). However because of a
mistake from one of their own, David is shown their world and was never
suppose to see Elise after the night of his concession speech thus
creating the motivating drive of the film.
George Nolfi has shown that he can both write and direct, mostly direct, an intriguing, well made film with power house stars like Damon and Blunt. His direction of New York City is very well done, and he really excels with the many on-foot chase sequences throughout the film. Where he really shows his strengths however is in the dialogue between Damon and Blunt. It's extremely witty and humorous, with a touch of romance and his words are brought to life brilliantly by his two lead actors. All the while he intertwines the love story with the science fiction aspect of the Adjustment Bureau and the mystery surrounding this powerful, all seeing, all controlling group.
The cast is excellent and I can't picture anyone else in the roles of David Norris or Elise Sellas. The simple dialogue scenes between these two are just as entertaining, if not better, than the suspenseful and/or action packed scenes throughout the film. Damon is great, but no real surprise there. And Blunt was right up there with him, now if that's because I'm in awe of her sheer beauty with an accent to top it off, I cant really say, but I thought she was great none the less.
Overall it's a very good film and one of the better stories that have come along since Inception (unfortunately Nolfi can't be credited for an original story here because he based it on Philip K. Dick's short story). My only real problem with the film that I didn't like was the ending, which is pretty unfortunate because up until that point it was almost flawless. It's a bit anti climatic, however I can't see how you would end it any other way and have it still work with the overall story. Bottom line though, the film really makes you think about the idea of fate versus choice and if we really have a say in our future. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, these ideas are prevalent and will always be an important topic to discuss and the film does a pretty good job of asking questions and giving some answers while also leaving enough open for discussion. All in all it's the perfect film for all audience's, both male and female, young or old and one that relies more on it's acting and story than it's special effects like most film now a days, and that in itself is something worth seeing.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
********* Mild possible spoilers ********** A pretty decent low key SF
film. Nothing great, nothing earth shattering. But, if you want a break
from all the action movies masquerading as SF, it's worth catching.
While based on a (public domain) short story - ADJUSTMENT TEAM by P.K.Dick (read it at wikimedia commons), it's a pretty loose adaptation. The Dick story has much in common with Jack Finney's BODY SNATCHERS which came out just after this tale (something was in the air).
Rather than just being a straight out adaptation, BUREAU tosses in elements of 1984, BRAZIL, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and those 50s stories of secret agents in black hats. In keeping with the low key approach, the relationship between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt (and the one between Damon and his "Bureaucrat" played well by Anthony Mackie) is emphasized over the larger SF elements.
**Mild Spoiler** That's largely a good thing for Blunt is so engaging that you can believe that a man would literally risk his future to be with her (hey, it's in the trailer).
I've had my eye on Blunt's work ever since her breakout role in MY SUMMER OF LOVE. She has an intelligence and sparkle that isn't really matched by the more stolid Damon (and Damon's accent is much more Bostonian than of Brooklyn where his character is supposedly born and bred from). Damon does OK, but it's a lopsided match on screen. Further, the film falters when it tries to explain the nuts and bolts of the Adjustment operation. Better to be ambiguous than to bore the viewer in this case.
The film's ending seems a bit pat, but, somehow, still works due in no small part to Blunt's performance. Rarely, have I seen an actor pull off the tricky balance between bewilderment and resolve.
Worth seeing if you 'adjust' your expectations. If you are a fan of low key SF films from the 60s like the 3 British DAMNED films, THE MIND BENDERS, CHARLY etc., then this is for you to seek out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just saw the Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.
I liked it a lot. It had good performances, an intriguing story and
great cinematography. The color was good, the camera shots were
creative, and the angles were obtuse. New York never looked so good.
This film, directed by Gorge Nolfi (Bourn Ultimatum and Oceans 12), was
based on a short story by science fiction great, Philip K. Dick. This
was vintage Dick. The film had a vintage feel to it too even though it
was supposed to take place in modern New York. It could have taken
place in the 50's or 60's. The costumes were no help on terms of dating
the piece, but he Adjustment Bureaucrat wore suits with skinny lapels,
thin ties, and narrow brimmed fedoras. They did not carry electronic
hand-held devices as you might expect, but rather books, or manuals
with mysterious diagrams that pulsed electrically from time to time.
The movie is essentially a love story of two people who were fated then "unfated" to be together. This was a case of two people who fell in love and that love was so strong that they were "ruined" for anyone else. I hate it when that happens. They had to exert their free will over their predestination for everything to work out for them.
This was a great movie to watch and I give it "7 Bells."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm not sure what this movie is. A romance? Yes. Science fiction? Yes.
Thriller? Yes. Religious theme? Yes. Political drama? Yes.
Maybe its split personality is why I liked it so much. It has elements of all those themes in it. I thought Matt Damon and Emily Blunt were fantastic in this film, and I have to admit that although I have long liked Damon's acting, I'm not always pleased with the roles he takes on. I wasn't familiar with Anthony Mackie, but I enjoyed his performance, as well. And, cameo appearances are always fun, and the number in this film are staggering and intriguing because they are mostly political figures.
The one thing I didn't like was how the film ended...suddenly (as too many films do end today), and I guess God (that was the power here...wasn't it?) just gave up and let the leads have their way with their love. Hmmmmmmmm. Did David become President? A flash forward would have been great. Oh, any BTW, if it was God, wouldn't he have been at the top of the Empire State Building? ;-)
The Adjustment Bureau - A hard film to stick in a particular genre. It's a Romantic Science Fiction film that deals focuses on fate and idea that a power out with our human control is manipulating events and deciding our destiny. Essentially this film is a love story between a hot shot politician (Matt Damon) and a up and coming ballet dancer (Emily Blunt) both on their way to greatness. This film works so well due to chemistry that Damon and Blunt have on screen. Dealing with such controversial concepts such as God and Fate is challenging to convey to an audience, but George Nolfi's seems to have managed to present these themes in a smart and digestible way. So far this is my favorite film of the year and I would give it a (B+) - Highly Recommended!!
First I must say that the trailers make the movie look like something
it is not. I'm not saying it was a terrible movie, though if you're
going for an action packed, sci-fi thriller, this isn't probably it.
The film starts off slowly, taking around 20 minutes to get into the interesting plot which the remainder of the film follows. There are some scenes which really suck you in, but they only last for short periods of time and after they finish the movie becomes dull again.
The movie was too romantic for me, personally I feel the movie would have benefited without the love story entwined into the screenplay.
As far as direction and acting goes I feel that it was pretty good, not Oscar worthy but not half terrible either.
So still wondering if you should spend your money on this film? It entirely depends on your personal tastes. It's not really much like 'Inception' like the trailer says but it's still messing with the concept of different realities. If you expect non stop action don't see this film. But if you feel like a romance with a science fiction twist this film should satisfy you.
I give this film 7/10 stars.
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