Is it possible for a chance encounter to turn into true love? What happens when fate has other plans for you instead? Can you defy the odds to stay together? That’s the premise of The Adjustment Bureau, now on DVD, which puts love and the audience’s patience to the ultimate test.
The Adjustment Bureau followed David Norris (Matt Damon) a young politician on the rise who could easily enter the White House one day as he hit a career stumbling block in the middle of an election. During his lowest point, he has a chance encounter with Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) a passionate dancer who showed David that there was a world beyond his politically ordered life. This one encounter showed David and Elise that there was a strong pull between that continued to be evident every time they saw each other. The only problem was that there were forces greater than they imagined trying to pull them apart. There were agents who represented Fate itself working overtime to break the couple up for good. Agents Richardson (John Slattery) and Thompson (Terence Stamp) were playing the rules that their jobs taught them that humans couldn’t decide for themselves who they should love or what job they should do. David and Elise got a surprising supporter in Agent Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie) who grew long tired of controlling lives. He lended a helping hand that could either push them together forever or break them up for good. Can David and Elise make it work or will fate intervene?
Ultimately, what hindered The Adjustment Bureau from being a successful film was its far fetched plot. David and Elise’s attraction seemed to come so far out of leftfield that it made their love affair seem silly. It also didn’t help that the Agents of Fate were never fully explained. The audience only got a rough outline of what they were capable of through the veiled threats of Agents Richardson and Thompson. A little logic would’ve gone a long way to make this Bureau work for the better. The movie’s saving graces were Damon, Blunt and Mackie who lifted the plot from standard Science Fiction fare. Damon and Blunt had a genuine playful chemistry that was simply wasted as they danced around their feelings and ran from other people. The one who came out better in the movie was Blunt who used Elise’s wild child dancer to get Damon’s uptight politician out of his conservative shell. Damon had little to do except wax poetically over a woman he barely knew but loved anyway. He had more scenery to chew in his scenes with Mackie who was the movie’s moral center as he questioned his job and provided some of the film’s most memorable moments. Hopefully, Mackie will find a film where he’s the lead instead of a supporting player the next time around.
Verdict: A movie that mixes illogical sci-fi and a far fetched romance with mixed results.
Movie Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Movie Rating: PG-13
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)