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you want to adjust my WHAT?


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.
David:  Why?
Elise:  I crashed a wedding upstairs.
David:  People still do that??
Elise:  It was a dare.
David:  Who dared you to crash a wedding?
Elise:   …me.

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