'The Adjustment Bureau' More Fun, Less Spectacular, Than Inception
They've shuffled the release date of “The Adjustment Bureau” as many times as they have, probably to avoid comparisons with Christopher Nolan's self-important masterpiece “Inception”. While they're both mind bending supernatural / sci-fi flicks, and “Inception” is epic in every sense, “The Adjustment Bureau” turns out to be far more fun.
Matt Damon is David Morris, a from-the-mean streets politician who meets Emily Blunt's Elise on the eve of Damon's first political defeat, and her candor and beauty inspire Norris to give an impassioned speech about honesty in politics. This chance meeting angers a group of, bear with me, semi-super- natural “Adjusters”. “Adjusters” are tasked with making sure David Norris, follows his “Plan” and which does not include Elise, and “The Adjusters” are to stop him from ever seeing her again. And...their hats give them magical force powers. Don't worry, I am completely aware of how stupid that sounds.
Writer / Director George Nofli doesn't doesn't give us enough time to really ponder the inner workings of the corporate-dare-I-say-angels. We're given enough exposition to understand the system, why it should never (ever) be broken, and then the rest of the movie is Matt Damon breaking said system to our giddy delight.
We delight because this is fun. The chase, the dialog, the way things are revealed at just the right pace. The interactions between Damon and Blunt deserve great praise. Far too often in films the protagonist explains they're in love with a character they've barely met. But here, David and Elise's gleeful antagonism of one another fosters humanity rarely found in these sorts of movies.
There's a lot to say about this movie, and believe it or not, it has a lot to say too. There's a bit of political satire in here, some bits on the nature of free will, and how most of humanity seems to use it to kill other humans, and the nature of God.
Ultimately, you have the perfect date movie, and that's a feat worthy of great praise. For the lovey-dovey there's a palpable romance built on chemistry (and not a lack of clothing). For the geeks, a sci-fi storyline that acknowledges the scoff-worthy premise and happily owns it with wit, a wink, and a nod. “The Adjustment Bureau” is great fun and maybe a bit more. I'm hard pressed to call it smart because it's not as if the movie holds any profound message outside of love conquers all, but neither did “Inception”, and that movie's tag line was practically “It's too smart for you”.