Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

More Drama Than Sci-Fi
[Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Terence Stamp, Anthony Mackie, Michael Kelly]

image from freemoviedb.com

RANT: The Adjustment Bureau was on both mine and my housemate's list. After standing in line for popcorn and soda, I met her in the theater. She was a row up from the crosswalk and railing. She stated that she was not happy with the seat selection since all of the seats behind the rail were taken. Sometimes, getting to the theater 30 minutes early is a blessing.

SYNOPSIS: A New York congressman loses his election but finds his soul mate. Afterward, shadowy men in hats continue to keep them apart.

First time director but proven screenwriter of The Bourne Ultimatum and Ocean's Twelve, George Nolfi adapts a short story, Adjustment Team, by Philip K. Dick. Based on their previous work together, Matt Damon seemed to be the obvious choice for Nolfi's freshman directing effort. And like Damon's Clint Eastwood directed Hereafter, The Adjustment Bureau is more drama than science fiction.

Following on themes from Total Recall, television's Fringe and many other of Philip K. Dick's stories, The Adjustment Bureau deals with memories, watchers, and our supposed free will versus unknown forces that continue to push and alter our lives toward an already defined destiny. For some reason, any group of individuals tasked with steering humanity toward specific fates must have fedoras as part of their company uniform. But at least in The Adjustment Bureau, the hats serve a bigger purpose than being retro cool.

Matt Damon as New York congressman David Norris driven for greatness and for positive change. Damon is solid as always, able to switch from comedies like Stuck on You to serious dramas like the aforementioned Hereafter and The Adjustment Bureau. Enter Emily Blunt as Elise Sellas, the woman who captivates Norris on the eve of his defeat for a New York Senate seat and stays in Norris' thoughts long after. They have an easy likable chemistry. Their first meetings seemed forced - until the audience and the case workers of the bureau find out why Norris and Sellas remain so attracted to each other, and why chance seems so counter to "the plan". The case workers, ambitious Richardson (aptly used Mad Men John Slattery), sympathetic James (Eagle Eye and The Hurt Locker's Anthony Mackie), and career heavy Thompson (Terence Stamp) make every move obvious, but shrouded in mystery.

The commercials steer us to believe that the movie is all chases, escapes through doors that lead to venues unlikely to be found, and the conspiracy of the sinister company men trying to tear Norris and Sellas apart. But much slow drama is put in place before the movie switches over the sci-fi suspense thrilling of it all. The Adjustment Bureau is smart, entertaining, well-written and well-acted. I expect nothing less, and receive nothing less, from Matt Damon. But for the suspense and sci-fi fans like myself, the film needs to be adjusted more to what the trailers promised.

Worth: Matinee or DVD

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