Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

The Adjustment Bureau – 106Min – PG-13

I have to start off by saying what’s with The Hat? See for yourself, Trailer it’s hard not to notice, am I right?

Every trailer for The Adjustment Bureau shows Matt Damon running around with this ridiculous fedora perched on his head. The Hat is so distracting in the previews; I had to wonder if I would even be able to watch The Hat… I mean MOVIE – let alone enjoy it.

However, rest easy. The Adjustment Bureau is, indeed, more than a hat. I enjoyed it, and not just because of the large sake my wife bought me at dinner.

The movie starts out we watch David Norris (Matt Damon) campaigning for Senator of the great state of New York. He loses, but meets this woman (Emily Blunt) and that contact inspires him to give a moving concession speech and throw his hat into the ring again next election year. All of these moments seem to be magical but they are all part a grand scheme that are monitored over by agents of a higher power that enforce “the plan”. His direct case worker from the bureau, Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie), misses an opportunity to change a small thing in David’s life and thus he reconnects with the mysterious woman from his past and walks in on the bureau making an alteration to the people in his office. Instead of altering his mind the adjustment manager, Richardson (John Slattery), comes clean with him about what really goes on, and tells him that he was not supposed to be in the office or meet up with the woman. With this new knowledge he is now faced with following his path or breaking the plan and following his heart. One path leads to a grand future while the other leads to less fame but more happiness. As David fights his plan his case is escalated up the chain to Adjuster “the Hammer” Thompson (Terence Stamp) who is the one to get things done in the bureau.

This movie gave me a Dark City feel only without all the Goth overtones. The actors did wonderfully with the material they had and the story was well done. I felt the connection between all of the players and they seemed to have fun working with this story. People seemed to embody the roles and made it completely believable, well as believable as a hidden organization that makes sure people run according to plan can be. The movies tempo was high and low I think they need to work just a bit on making sure they have a bit more action to offset the long story-telling parts. I left wondering what I would have done in Norris’s shoes. What was the message that we are left with? What elements in my past might have been subject to minor adjustments to alter the course of my destiny? It takes a really good story to make you ask yourself these questions. I look back on my movie watching experience and only a few movies come to mind where the conversations about the movie were just as fun as the movie themselves.

This movie was directed by George Nolfi, he has been the writer for Timeline, Ocean’s Twelve, and The Borne Ultimatum. As his first time in the director’s chair, I think he did an outstanding job of piloting this movie. It was well made and had none of the usual first time director’s flaws: overly long artistic shots or choppy story to get to the end. He had a clear vision presented to us and it was well told. Ok, fine. The Hat is a very important part of the story so I am not going to talk about it but after seeing the movie the trailer does not bother me.


I leave you with this question: what in your life have you decided to take the safe path with or broken from your designated path to pursue happiness?

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