When’s it out?
The Adjustment Bureau is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday July 4th.
Who’s in it?
Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Michael Kelly, Anthony Mackie, Terence Stamp.
What’s it about?
After becoming enchanted by a young woman named Elise (Emily Blunt) following a chance encounter in a hotel bathroom, purposeful New York Senator David Norris (Damon) accidentally falls foul of a team of mysterious “Adjustors” in the wake of an accidental second meeting with Elise. The agents – who represent the forces of fate itself – have to make sure that the pair never meet again, lest the world not go to their cloudy ‘plan’. Loosely based on a short story by Phillip K Dick.
What’s it like?
It’s an old-fashioned romantic thriller; think Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn’s Charade with the addition of a genuinely interesting sci-fi kicker.
Star of the show?
The supporting cast are all terrific – and Emily Blunt is especially effective – but this is further proof that Matt Damon is a card-carrying movie star in the classic Hollywood mould. Although the character of David Norris has clearly been shaped to fit him (he’s a bit tasty in bar-room brawls and is very adept with his own words) he’s so likeable – and the behind-the-scenes political stuff is so convincing – that it’s all but impossible not to believe in him, and (more importantly) root for him. Damon’s brilliant chemistry with Emily Blunt seals it.
That everyone stays on the same page. There is always room for a film like this to become horrendously muddled; as the romance, science fiction and thriller elements are all juggled so that all three potential audiences are kept immersed throughout. The film is exciting and swiftly paced for sure, but everyone involved is always acutely aware that the central romance is what really makes this something special. The Adjustment Bureau themselves provide a great engine to drive the plot along, but afterwards you won’t remember them in the same way that you’ll remember Damon and Blunt’s relationship.
The third act delivers all of the confident, fast-paced thrills that are to be expected from a medium-to-high budget Hollywood genre movie – and buoyed by some very sharp, Chris Nolan-esque special effects – but the film’s opening fifteen minutes are pretty hard to beat. It centres on the pre-election phase of David Norris’ political campaign, and not only is it authentic and engaging; it also perfectly establishes the man’s character via little more than a speedy montage. It’s efficient, laser-focused film-making of a very high order.
Though the Total Film magazine quote “Bourne meets Inception” has featured heavily throughout the duration of the film’s advertising campaign, it’s more thoughtful than the former and much more easily digestible than the latter. It’s a very sleek movie that resonates because of unfussy direction, a neat script and some excellent performances. As such, it feels strangely old-fashioned. But in the best possible way.
Hit or miss?
A hit. Featuring one of the most convincing big-screen romances of recent years.
Watch The Adjustment Bureau trailer here: