Entertainment Magazine: Film: 2011: "The Adjustment Bureau"

The Adjustment Bureau - A Bad Date with Destiny

Matt Damon Adjustment BureauBy Miv Evans

This is a romantic thriller, driven by a sci-fi element but is so devoid of imagination that it's really just another story about bad guys chasing good guys.

There is a great deal of dialogue, much of which is exposition about a fantasy world that is devoid of magic and, in the end, all this film really delivers are some great visuals of New York City.     

David Norris (Matt Damon) is a New York politician who loses his chance of a seat in the U.S. Senate due to unorthodox behavior. 

He's still dealing with this disappointment when he meets and becomes besotted with Elise Selias (Emily Blunt), but his plans to have a relationship with her are thwarted by a group of mysterious men.

David discovers they are from an extra-terrestrial organization called the Adjustment Bureau and are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that everyone meets the destiny that has been mapped out for them.

The writer tries to make the two main characters memorable right at the beginning by getting each of them to do something outrageous but after this they revert to their sensible, rather ordinary selves, so these initial introductions feel like cheap shots. 

The back story we are fed about David is tragic but comes off as a clunky attempt to make him an empathetic figure, telling us nothing about how these events made him the man he has become.  Facts and jobs are meaningless without a link to their psychological impact; character doesn't come from without, but from within.

Creating the personification of Fate, which is what the Adjustment Bureau is, is a heady task, and conjures up visions of ethereal bodies and celestial voices that whisper words of infinite wisdom and reveal to us the secrets that have eluded us even though we have looked so hard.  

The Adjustment Bureau Movie Trailer

Watch the Official "The Adjustment Bureau" movie trailer through Hulu.

MATT DAMON stars in the thriller "The Adjustment Bureau" as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and realizes he wants something else. To get it, he must pursue the only woman he's ever loved (EMILY BLUNT) across, under and through the streets of modern-day New York.

On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (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.

The Adjustment Bureau is written for the screen and directed by George Nolfi (writer of Ocean's Twelve, co-writer of The Bourne Ultimatum). It is based on a short story by Philip K. Dick ("Total Recall," "Minority Report" and "Blade Runner").

But what we actually get is a bunch of hard-knocks in raincoats and fedoras, accompanied by an entourage zipped up in clinging leather body suits and crash helmets, none of which is quite the spiritual experience we would expect from an encounter with destiny.                    

The message in this film seems to be that our lives are all mapped out but, if we feel passionately enough about something, we can renegotiate the plan.  Personally, I don't think trying to derail fate is a great idea mostly because it sounds dangerous and, as we all know, when we make plans God's looking down, laughing his head off.

Miv Evans is a British businesswoman who relocated to Los Angeles in 2005. She previously had a comedy drama commissioned by BBC TV and sold her first film to REN Media International in 2008 which she wrote, directed and produced.

Photo Credit: Andy Schwartz. Copyright: © 2010 Universal Studios. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Cast: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Michael Kelly and Terence Stamp

Directed by: George Nolfi

Screenplay by: George Nolfi

Based Upon the Short Story "The Adjustment Team" by: Philip K. Dick

Produced by: Chris Moore, Michael Hackett, George Nolfi, Bill Carraro

Executive Producer: Jonathan Gordon


Bosnia and Herzegovina: 3 March 2011
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Spain: 4 March 2011
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USA: 4 March 2011
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Germany: 10 March 2011
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Finland: 11 March 2011
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Egypt: 16 March 2011
Hong Kong: 7 March 2011
Belgium: 23 March 2011
France: 23 March 2011
Netherlands: 24 March 2011
Hungary: 31 March 2011
Italy: 27 May 2011
Japan: 27 May 2011

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