Mar 072012

Adjustment BureauDirector:  George Nolfi

Rating:  PG-13

Running Time: 1hr 46 m

Release Date: 3/4/11

Genre:  Science Fiction, Thriller, Literary

Cast: David Norris(Matt Damon), Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt), Charlie Troynor (Michael Kelley), Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie), Richardson (John Slattery), Thompson (Terrance Stamp), Adrien Troussant (Anthony Mackie)

Synopsis: Promising Representative David Norris (Matt Damon) is running for Senate, but a scandal derails his campaign.  While rehearsing his concession speech in a bathroom, he meets a Elise (Emily Blunt).  He falls her, but doesn’t see her again until months later while he when he meets her on a bus on the way to his new job.  A mysterious man,  Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie), was supposed to ensure that David and Elise did not meet again, but fell asleep when waiting to prevent Norris from getting on the bus.  Norris sees more than he was supposed to when gets to work and he finds everyone frozen while men in riot gear are waving strange machines over the heads of his coworkers.

Mitchell is part of an organization called the Bureau  and Norris learns that according to the “Plan”, he and Elise should never have been together.  The Bureau will stop at nothing to ensure the Plan is followed, and threaten Norris with lobotomization if he continues to try to see Elise.  Norris learns that the Bureau,  “are the people that make sure things happen to plan.”  Norris will also not be swayed from being with Elise and he gets help from unexpected sources.

Analysis: The Adjustment Bureau is based on the Philip K. Dick, short story  “The Adjustment Team” (1954).  PKD has been one of my favorite authors for many years.   Typically when his stories are turned into films, the scriptwriters usually take the general theme and a few lines here or there.  A good example is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  which was turned into the great film, Blade Runner.  I think that his stories are often hard to translate into film because they don’t fit the typical Hollywood mold and contain strange things like people being taken over by God/Aliens and the narrative is very hard to follow at times.  This is also true for The Adjustment Bureau, but I think that even though  it isn’t 100% accurate, it is a still a pretty good film.

Pro: Some of the best things about the movie were trying to guess what sort of entity was behind the plan, aliens, dieties, people from the future.  I was rooting for aliens.  Another great thing about the film was Terrance Stamp as Thompson, I have been a fan of him since he played General Zod in Superman II.  He plays a higher up in the Bureau and is called in to help when Norris’ ability to evade the Plan is underestimated.

Con: My least favorite part of the film was the many real world reporters, pundits and politicians  including; Jon Stewart, Wolf Blitzer, and Michael Bloomberg,  appear as themselves. It is more the fault of the individuals, but I just don’t like it and it makes me question their motives.  I’d rather see actors playing roles similar to these people, because it is less distracting.

Conclusion: I liked the film quite a bit even thought it was different and lighthearted from those typical inspired by Phillip K Dick stories.


Frank’s Ratings


Characters 4
Story 4
Special Effects 4
Would Watch Again? 3
Average 3.75

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