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
The dances were created specifically for the film but were based on Benoit-Swan Pouffer's installation piece, GLASSYessence. See more »
At 1:30:18, David Norris stops a Dodge Avenger when he runs in front of it. In the next scene though at 1:30:19 through 1:30:21, you see a Dodge Charger instead. 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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Nice concept, lovely cast, slight problem with the screenplay and execution
I really wanted to like this because Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are two of my favorite actors and get a dream of a story based on a short essay by Philip K Dick (he of 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' fame i.e. what turned into Blade Runner). Matt plays David Norris, a young congressman vying for the senate who keeps bumping into a girl (Elise = Emily) who he then manages to lose. Is it coincidence? Is it all meant to be? Are there darker forces at work? Is there a God? Is fate preordained? The film and script ask us all of these questions and then more.
I found that the world which David and Emily inhabit is full of seemingly arbitrary rules, that the story was driven by forced coincidences which could not be explained away as semi-ironic, and which sometimes felt more like script conveniences than story, more plot-devices than plot.
I found the denouement predictable and was waiting for the last half-hour of the film for Messrs Damon and Blunt to hurry up and get on with it as it was so clunky and PREDICTABLE(ironic given the story-line). Yes I've used the word 'predictable' twice. With good reason.
There are many, and I mean many, things, props, tricks, flips etc that you will have seen before and that do appear, again, in this film. I do not want to give any spoilers, so you'll just have to watch the film and spot them all for yourself. This is billed as 'Bourne meets Inception' and I think it's MUCH more like Inception than a Bourne film.
I did find the David Norris congressman/senator thing reminiscent of The Manchurian Candidate but without the strength of purpose that that latter film has and in fact, in Adjustment, it was a bit half-hearted and almost all of the subsidiary characters were very poorly fleshed-out with no characterization or arcs at all.
Finally, the end message that this film delivers is extremely naive and slightly disappointing. I can see exactly what the filmmakers were trying to do but the problem is they've taken a solid PKD short, conceived a film but then effectively spoiled it a little by not spending enough time on developing the story into a fully-fledged all-singing all-dancing screenplay.
Perhaps not enough controls were placed on the writer/director: however, I suspect that this script has been rewritten by a number of people, as certain things appear to be inserted as if part of a scientific exercise than as a fluid story, a sort of 'well, the way we managed to do that is...', continually playing the get out of jail free card.
And this, I think, is the problem with the film. Despite the likability of the leads, you just don't feel for them. When they cry, you don't know or even care if it's real or not. They're cardboard cut-outs, doing their best, manipulated by PKD and the writer/director. You never feel like they're in danger. The film's only a 12 too which I think, for this 'darkness' of story, is simply not right.
This should have been beefed up, the ante been raised and the MPAA/BBFC certificates upped to R and 15 respectively with some hard-hitting, juicy content which unfortunately this film shies away from at every opportunity.
That said, it's still worth a 6.5 or 7 out of 10 because it IS fun: the problem is I also think it was, with that cast and that budget (USD51m), a wasted opportunity.
I can't believe they didn't see that coming ;-)
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