Mar 11 2011 By Fraser Glen
The Adjustment Bureau
THE Adjustment Bureau was billed as Inception versus Bourne, a high comparison the film doesn't fail to live up to.
Director George Nolfi brings Philip K. Dick's short story, 'Adjustment Team', to the big screen and not only manages to deliver a sci-fi thriller but also an epic love story.
With recent philosophical thrillers such as The Matrix and Inception for inspiration, Nolfi toys with the idea of free will and fate. Although, with the element of a love story thrown into the mix, there is something in this film for everyone to enjoy.
Matt Damon plays central character David Norris, a young politician destined for success but yet struggles to get rid of his bad-boy ways and after a college prank hits tabloid headlines, he loses the "unloseable" senate election.
As David prepares his speech for defeat, a chance meeting with Elise (Emily Blunt) inspires him to give the speech of a life-time and before David can catch her last name, he knows he has fallen in love.
Enter a group of unknown men called 'The Adjustment Bureau' including Harry (Anthony Mackie), Thompson (Terence Stamp) and Richardson (John Slattery), they make it clear to David he cannot be with Elise because it is not in "the plan". However, David fails to accept the warning and goes against the men, despite the consequences, to find his true love, Elise.
Even though we never are really sure who or the purpose of the group, 'The Adjustment Bureau', the audience can draw their own conclusions and with the fast pace of the film, you will be gripped till the very end.
Along with the fresh plot, the excellent on-screen rapport between Damon and Blunt helps create a real sense of heart within this sci-fi flick.
The character of David Norris is perfect for Damon as it draws on his real-life experience, a working class, bad-boy background but still recognised as a popular figure. Damon also shows the weaker side of his character when it comes to Elise and his determination to be with her, no matter what.
Playing, Elise, Blunt makes the romantic pairing of her and politician David believable even against a supernatural setting. The dialogue allows her to be seen as unpredictable and sassy in meetings with David but can equally convey her more vulnerable and honest side.
The Adjustment Bureau may be compared to Inception or Bourne but it never tries to copy them, managing to be a successful film of its own. The fast-paced plot allows the director to suggest, without ever having to fully explain, the intent of the Adjustment Bureau.
In actual fact, the sci-fi focus of the film is second to the romance between the central characters and their bid to find true love against all odds.