With the success of a film like Inception last year that perfectly blends action and a thinking man’s story, it isn’t hard to fathom that many more films will attempt to beat this same path. At least a girl can dream. Though it is by no means as high concept, The Adjustment Bureau is yet another step in this direction that will further inspire more films like this to come. Or at least inspire people to bring back the fedora. It could go either way…
Keeping that in mind, The Adjustment Bureau is definitely a film in which the less you know going in the better. So here’s to keeping it vague: The story follows David Norris, a young politician running for senator. Along the way he meets Elise Sellas and the sparks fly instantly. However, even an instant and deep connection such as this can be tested by forces much greater. Vague enough? Good.
With that explanation you would probably think that you were walking into a romantic dramedy or something, but for those of you that have already seen the preview then you know that a lot has been left out of that explanation, especially considering how it is being marketed as an action film with a hint of sci-fi / magic, and a lot of running and chasing and Jason Bourne. Or the title could have tipped you off, seeing as “The Adjustment Bureau” doesn’t really inspire images of hearts swelling. However, within the overriding unmentionable story of the paths that everyone’s lives take, the love story between the two is what matters the most, and is pretty much the only thing I can safely talk about without risking ruining anything. Good thing I can rave about it!
Matt Damon plays David Norris, and though he definitely channels Bourne as the trailer suggests every once in a while, what will win audiences over here is his charm. I sure know that I would vote for him anyway. Sometimes vulnerable, always endearing, it is impossible not to root for his character when things start to work against him. However, what brings out the best in his performance as a romantic leading man is when he is thrown in with Emily Blunt. To speak highly of both the script and acting, the chemistry between these two is some of the best I have seen on screen, bringing about a relationship that feels completely natural and realistic in every moment. As Damon charms Blunt radiates magnetism, and it is thanks to the sarcasm and playfulness in her performance that loosens Damon’s character up and also keeps the film from becoming overly serious in the face of the story they are working within.
To briefly touch on the films title, what I can say is that the premise of the film is an interesting one that allows for some entertaining “action” sequences (this is where the chasing comes in) which remain humorous in the way they are carried out, thanks in large part to the reactions of John Slattery as one of the Bureau agents. However, I will say that if there is one thing for me to complain about in this film, it would be that the pacing does not quite end on a satisfying note. As the story progresses, obstacles form and pressure grows, leading to the story culminating a little awkwardly, and though the openness of this fits perfectly with the story, it is not always the best feeling to be waiting for a “To be continued…” when the credits roll.
The world created in The Adjustment Bureau is definitely an interesting one that plays with one of life’s unanswerable questions brought on by two opposing forces. And when all is said and done there will still be plenty of questions remaining and discussions to be had because though they lead you to the water, it’s up to you to decide what you will do with it.
Final Grade: B+