Film Review “The Adjustment Bureau”

Starring:  Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Terence Stamp
Directed by:  George Nolfi
Rated:  PG
Running time:  1 hours 39 minutes
Universal

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

You’ve heard it a thousand times.  Something unexpected, sometimes good and sometimes bad, happens and someone will comment that “God has a plan for all of us.”  What if he did?  What if your very existence depended on you following a plan so strict that deviation can cause untold damage not only to you but to those you love?

David Norris (Damon) is a junior congressman running for the U.S. Senate in his home state of New York.  But just as it appears like he’s going to cruise to victory a scandal erupts.  Seems when he was in college he dropped his pants and mooned his buddies.  Now his butt is front page news and he loses.  While waiting to concede he stumbles into hotel wedding crasher Elise (Blunt), hiding from hotel security by ducking into the men’s room.  High on top of a skyscraper, four sharply dressed men, each decked out in a suit and snappy fedora.  “Time to get to work” their leader mutters.

Advertised as a thriller, possibly because director Nolfi wrote the last Jason Bourne film and adapted this one from a short story by Philip K. Dick, the film plays more like a political romance.  Think “Three Days of the Condor” meets “The Preacher’s Wife” and you’ll get some idea of what I mean.  It seems that things happen for a reason, in both love and politics, mostly at the whim of the Chairman.  True love may indeed be true love, but what if fate has a different plan?  Would you follow your heart or your dreams?

Despite a weak script (if our current president got elected after admitting to having used cocaine in the past do you really think mooning someone in college would cause someone not to vote for him?) the story moves along thanks to the cast.  Damon is his usual solid self and is slowly becoming one of my favorite actors to watch.  Blunt is equally well cast as Elise and it’s always nice to see Terence Stamp on the big screen.  “Mad Men “ star John Slattery also contributes and cameos from real life politicos as Michael Bloomberg, Mary Matalin and James Carville give the films political side a nice touch of reality.



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