Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

In his directorial debut, screenwriter George Nolfi brings to the screen The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon as David Norris- a politician who's life will soon be altered indefinitely. Moments before one of the most crucial speeches of his life, David encounters the love of his life- Elise (Emily Blunt). Unsatisfied with the brief moment shared before their separation, Norris pursues his soul mate. Upon reacquainting with his paramour, Norris' world is disorientated as he discovers that their is a bureau of men that oversee, and at times alter, everyday human life. This bureau's need to interfere with and re-aline David's life is due to his intrusion of the big plan. David's fate with Elise is not only against the plan of whom the bureau refers to as "the chairman" (which would of course be known as God to us; and no, the part is not played by Morgan Freeman), but it will allegedly lead to the failure of both David and Elise to accomplish their own individual dreams. David- alone in his knowledge of this authority- must take matters into his own hands to defy the "plan" and live his life with the woman of his dreams. Having written such screenplays as Ocean's Twelve and The Bourne Ultimatum (he must appreciate Damon), it is no surprise that The Adjustment Bureau is such a success, as it is the first opportunity for Nolfi to portray his own tale. Though to the naked eye the story seems original, anyone who has seen Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998) will find the Bureau a bit too familiar. However, the film has a convincing enough chemistry between Blunt and Damon and enough of a Nolfi accent to stand alone. The performances were exceptional across the board, from Damon and Blunt to Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), John Slattery (Mad Men), and Terrance Stamp (Superman). Additionally, there were many philosophically astonishing takes on religion and higher powers. Though containing a partially borrowed plot, The Adjustment Bureau is original enough, and is accompanied by fine filmmaking and remarkable performances- scoring it 31/2 stars in my book.

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