Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau -- review


I admit it, I’m a sucker for a good sci-fi/thriller/romcom. You just don’t see enough of them. Okay, you don’t see any. But THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU is all that maybe a little action/noir/fantasy to boot.

As long as you turn your suspension-of-belief dial way up into MEN IN BLACK II country, you’ll have fun with this movie. There are all the logic problems associated with having to create your own rules, then making up new ones as you go along just to keep the plot moving. But forget about all that. The story is about a group of otherworldly men who make sure that events in life occur as they’re supposed to and must keep Matt Damon and Emily Blunt from falling in love with each other. You can’t buy into that premise and then ask: “this Adjustment Bureau, do they give their employees hams every Christmas?”

Writer/director George Nolfi tries to do a lot of things – mix in metaphysics with romance, religion, politics, and of course, modern dance. Some elements work better than others, but for my money – if the romance works, then the movie works.

There is great chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Right from their very first scene together. Thank God they didn’t cast Katherine Heigl! Whenever I watch a love story I try to imagine if it were me in that situation – would I go to the lengths this character is going through just to capture the heart of the love of my life? In this case no, but I’m a chicken shit. Were I a person of any substance then hell yeah, I totally would have. Emily Blunt was perfectly cast.  Matt Damon was good too, and of the ten movies he's been in this year alone, this is his best so far. 

John Slattery plays one of the Adjustment Bureau Adjusters and as usual, steals any scene he’s in. When you look up the word “insouciant” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of John, smirking underneath his fedora. This was a much more challenging role than MAD MEN however. John had to deliver his lines without holding a drink.

Hats play a big part in the movie. The way you can identify Adjustment Bureau personnel is that they all wear hats. Assuming they’ve been around for thousands of years I suspect they really stood out back in the Roman Empire days wearing togas and fedoras.

THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU was fun and if any movie genre at all is your favorite then I recommend you go see it. Unless you’re not supposed to. In which case, don’t. I’d hate to think the next world war is caused because you wandered into the wrong theater and watched for twenty minutes before realizing this wasn’t GNOMEO & JULIET.

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