NEW Reviews cover movie reviews of new releases of the same year in theaters or newly out on DVD. There may or may not be any spoiler below, but you have been forewarned!
The Adjustment Bureau (2011)
Aside from watching the trailer once and seeing the commercials for this movie on TV, I walked into this movie blind. I really didn’t know what to expect. It looked good, from a commercial standpoint, but could it actually be good? I’ll get to that in one second.
Starring Matt Damon (The Bourne series) and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) “The Adjustment Bureau tells the story of a young up-and-coming politician named David Norris (Damon) who on the eve of the election meets Elise Selles (Blunt) who is a dancer. There is an instant connection between the two, but they don’t see each other for another three years. At this point, Norris walks into his new office only to find everyone and everything frozen in time with a group of agents scanning the entire place. This sets up the rest of the movie and how these agents, from The Adjustment Bureau, work in our everyday and how they seem to meddle in places that they probably shouldn’t be.
The agents of the Adjustment Bureau have special methods of not only jumping through doors to go to different locations across New York City, but they can also stop time and change the way people think. They can make someone a cup of coffee from across the street. They are truly magical characters, but their origins and individual back-stories are kept quiet and we are left to come up with our own stories. Even their leader, The Chairman, is never seen or heard of. Though I’m sure they have good intentions, they follow their ways to a fault (well, almost all of them) and they are seen as the villains in the movie when in fact that are simply following someone else’s orders.
What I didn’t know until the very end of the movie was that this was based on a short story by the great sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. To emphasize how big of a fan I am, I’ve actually written about it in previous postings, see here: Electric Sheep and Bob Pepper?. I would honestly love to read some of his stories, even if they probably would feel dated and old, but he is still making the bucks in Hollywood even if he isn’t alive anymore. After seeing that, the movie made complete sense, of course Dick wrote the short story that this film was based on. You can pretty much see the writing on the wall. Take an everyday man and put him in a very unique circumstance, sci-fi enhanced setting (even if it doesn’t take place in the future) and make sure that the main character struggles throughout the entire ordeal, only to come out on-top at the end. Maybe that last part is mostly the Hollywood version of things, but I’m still a huge, HUGE fan of Philip K. Dick inspired movies, even if most of the recent ones haven’t been as great as the past ones.
Adjustment Bureau is actually a pretty good movie. Great acting, with action and intrigue with some religious overtones and to top it off with the writing. First time director, George Nolfi, who has many writing credits to his name, two of which are with Matt Damon (Ocean’s Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum) as one of the stars. As far as I’m concerned he did a great job and I would be willing to see another one of his movies any time. I can only hope to one day, not only sell a script and have it made but to write and direct one of my own stories. Mr. Nolfi seems to have achieved a dream that I share with him. And to top it off, use a Philip K. Dick short story as the inspiration for the feature. My hat is off to you.
To wrap things up, this was a great movie, fun, action packed and fully of suspense. Let me know what you think.