Friday, March 4, 2011

Review: The Adjustment Bureau

Grade: A

David Norris just lost his bid to be a senator for New York. Just before giving his concession speech, he meets Elise, a woman like he’s never met before. A couple days later, he is unknowingly being followed by a mysterious man. This man is tasked with making sure that Norris doesn’t catch a bus, which he fails to do. This leads to Norris running into Elise again and shortly after that, he heads to work where he discovers something he was not meant to see. He learns that there is an agency run by a person known simply as “The Chairman” who controls the fate of all the people in the world. They have plans for everyone and they help make sure that they stay on that plan. David has deviated from his plan and they will stop at nothing to get him back on track, but David doesn’t want to follow their plan.

The Adjustment Bureau is a very interesting movie that takes a different look at fate and religion. The concept is simple, do we control our own destiny or is it all planned out? Who makes sure that we stay on that plan? What if “god” and “angels” weren’t so much all powerful beings sitting on clouds but rather were essentially run like a government agency? The movie is based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick (Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly) and it shows that he was an amazing sci-fi writer. The story of this movie is very intriguing and an absolute blast to watch. I went into this movie not expecting much and I ended up really loving this movie. The characters are all great, the story is interesting and it all keeps you completely gripped throughout. It has a very interesting view on fate and religion and free will. The love story that ties it all together keeps you rooting for David and Elise through the whole movie. Also, if someone was running for senate and they gave the speech that Norris does at the beginning of the movie, they would totally have my vote.

Matt Damon (True Grit, Invictus) plays the lead role of David Norris, a man getting ready to run for the Senate a second time. I really like Damon and all that he has done so far and he is fantastic in this movie. He plays this character so well that, like I mentioned before, you really root for him and hope that his defiance of “the agency” works out for the best. Emily Blunt (The Wolfman, Sunshine Cleaning) plays the role of Elise, a ballerina with a free spirit. I’ve liked some of the movies that she has been in but Blunt is really great in Adjustment Bureau and I can’t wait to see more from her. John Slattery (Charlie Wilson’s War, Reservation Road) plays the role of Richardson, the leader of the team of agents that look after David. Slattery is great in this movie, really enjoyable in this role, his character isn’t necessarily bad, he’s just determined to get his job done. Terrence Stamp (Valkyrie, Yes Man) plays the role of Thompson, a man brought in from the agency to do everything in his power to stop David. Stamp is really great in this role and he does have a touch of evil in him. Anthony Mackie (Eagle Eye, The Hurt Locker) plays Harry, an agent who eventually decides to help David. Mackie was great in this movie, he was very enjoyable.

If you like sci-fi and this kind of story interests you, I highly recommend seeing this movie. Hell, if you’re usually not that into sci-fi I have to recommend this movie. It tells a great story about the power of free will and the love story is actually really enjoyable. I loved this movie and will probably watch it again.

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