Anthony Mackie, Drama, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Matt Damon, Michael Kelly, Movie, Romance, Terence Stamp, The Adjustment Bureau
Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Michael Kelly, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Terence Stamp
David: What are you doing in here?
Elise: Just…I’m hiding from security.
Elise: I crashed a wedding upstairs.
David: People still do that??
Elise: It was a dare.
David: Who dared you to crash a wedding?
David Norris (Damon) is a young, popular candidate in a New York Senate race, but his campaign is derailed by the release of some embarrassing photos. On the night of his concession speech, he meets a woman, Elise (Blunt) who he has an instant connection with. After running into her a second time on a bus, David arrives at the meeting he was traveling to, only to find his coworkers all frozen in place, while a group of strange men work mysteriously around them. Thus is David’s introduction to the Adjustment Bureau, a group of beings that make sure humans stay on the course that was fated for them. David is not happy with the path he is intended to travel…
So, apparently God’s just kinda wingin’ it.
That’s the main thing I took from this fairly entertaining, but confusing (or maybe I should say confused), movie. I doubt that’s what the movie makers were trying to get across, but then I’m not sure if they even know what they were trying to get across.
It starts off pretty well, with a nice relationship blooming between David and Elise. Damon and Blunt don’t have amazing chemistry, but they play their roles in a nice, low-key way that makes their speedy romance believable. Though, I can’t help but think that the movie makes a tactical error by presenting us with way too much information about the Adjustment Bureau too early in the movie. A little more mystery might have ramped up the tension a bit.
As is, it just becomes a sort of cat and mouse game, though in this case the cat doesn’t want to kill the mouse. It just wants to bat it back onto a planned course. David tries to exert his free will, he’s told he doesn’t really have free will, but then he tries anyway, and ya know…he often sort of succeeds. For semi-omnipotent beings, these Adjusters sure do seem to have trouble keeping one guy in line.
I called this movie confusing, or confused, because in the end, I just don’t know if the makers knew what they wanted to say or how to say it. There is a hint at the Christian notion of our wills eventually aligning with God’s (or The Chairman, as he/she/it is referred to), thus we would become the author of our own fates, in a way, but that seems to contradict some of the other stuff that’s said in the movie. It just doesn’t gel in the end, and I was left scratching my head.
It’s an interesting premise, with some good characters and performances, but the inconsistent story falls a bit flat in the final quarter of the movie. Not enough to totally ruin it, but enough to make me wish that there had been a few more adjustments made to the script.
Be nice to people in hats, they might just be some sort of guardian angel.
10 – 2 for the inconsistent story and flat ending – 1.5 because I would have liked the Bureau to have stayed more mysterious throughout the movie = 6.5
I hated the end of the movie. Right in the middle of an intense chase, the movie gets a happy ending. It was like the writers got tired to writing the script.
true. it does seem like they just didn’t know where to go with it. or perhaps there was another ending originally, test audiences didn’t like it, so the happy ending was tacked on.
Miles Westwood said:
I really enjoyed it, but agree entirely about the Bureau remaining more mysterious. All those overt references about how the chairman is just the name we give him and he has a plan… Please. We’re all adults. If it had been done with a little subtlety those with an inclination for god bothering would have read that into it anyway and everyone else wouldn’t have been slightly disappointed by the sci-fi element of the story being appropriated for reminding us all how we all being looked after by a deity.
Following that through though, in the end god actually defers to Matt Damon, which is funny.
Yeah, a little too much audience hand-holding in this one. I wanted more mystery.
I like your succinct reviews, by the way. I wish I had gone that route…
Miles Westwood said:
Cheers, succinct yeah, but they’re getting longer, and I always feel i should give flicks a score. I read back reviews and realise that what I actually thought is not exactly clear.
Stick with the long reviews, I like them, you get the chance to say something sensible other than remarking on Ryan Gosling’s tendency to blink during moments of emotional importance for his characters…
Miles Westwood said:
Shit, sorry, forgot to add this to my comment… http://reeleyes.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/363-the-adjustment-bureau/ cheers.