Movie Review: The Adjustment Bureau

This past weekend, I went to see a movie. That movie was called The Adjustment Bureau. The Adjustment Bureau starred Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and that guy from Mad Men. It was good.

OK, so not exactly a stellar post on my part. For some reason, I’ve just been feeling really drained lately. You know, those first two and a half months of unemployment, they’re really not that bad. Sure, you’re cooped up all day. Sure, you have little to no interaction with other human beings. Sure, sunlight is a foreign concept. But all that boredom really makes you think. Makes you seek an outlet for your thoughts, your creativity, your acerbic blog posts.

But around the time that third month hits, things really start to suck. The old bank account is dry, so say goodbye to lunches, movies, and aimless car rides. Rejection e-mails fill your account. You begin to question all your plans, make compromises, make new plans, compromise them, and ultimately get stuck in a bit of a loop. TV no longer holds much allure, and you can’t muster the energy to flip pages of a new book series that is soon to be a new show on HBO.

At least, that’s what it’s been like for me. It’s like I’ve gone dry. I have all these thoughts in my head – TV pilots, comic books, epic novel trilogies, blog posts – but when it comes time to write them… nothing. It. Sucks. So forgive me for that crappy review. Here, I will try again.

So, The Adjustment Bureau is the story of Matt Damon David… something… and…Emily Blunt’s character. He’s running for Senator, she’s a dancer. They make out in the bathroom, and their hearts melt. Months later, they meet on a bus on accident (aka because an Adjuster fell asleep on the job), and their hearts flutter anew. At this, The A.B. flips out because The Plan has been messed up. So they pull David aside and are like “Hey dude, sorry but you can date whoever the crap you want, just not her, it will ruin The Plan your life. Don’t make us hurt you.”

David reluctantly agrees, but pines for… Emily Blunt… for the next several years, and she does the same. Then by chance, they meet again, they Screw The Rules, they are happy, and then ultimately David is scared out of staying with her. Apparently if he does, he won’t be president and she won’t be the world’s greatest dancer.

But in the end, David can’t let her marry her old boyfriend, and so with some help from Harry, his Adjuster, David and Emily Elise (I caved and looked it up) prove that the power of love is stronger than anything – even The Chairman’s plan.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid movie. Damon and Blunt have really solid chemistry (which helped make up for the whole “I met you yesterday but I love you!” thing). There’s definitely some nuance, since there aren’t exactly “bad guys” to speak of, so much as well-intentioned, powerful people who kind of miss the trees because of the forest (or however that goes). It also raises some questions of Free Will vs. Predestination and “Is God (spoiler alert) omniscient?”

Unfortunately, the movie plays it pretty safe. I mean, if I found out that there were dudes who could be behind any door, freeze time, and subtly alter the way you think… I might freak out a bit. I might seriously question… every decision I’d ever made. I might… I don’t know, jump every time a door opened for a while.

Also, I thought there could have been a lot more twists – for example: we know that The Plan was suddenly changed a few years ago, after like thirty years of having David and Elise “destined” to be together. What if there had been a renegade Angel…err… Adjuster… who changed things for his own nefarious purposes? What if in the time David was without Elise, he had said “Eff this stupid plan!” and watched the world turn to crap because of it? Or what if instead of Love Conquering All, the Bureau had just been like “Ooooookay… you asked for it!” and plunged their lives into unmitigated devastation, rather than a sprained ankle?

This movie was good, don’t get me wrong. But it was also safe, and pretty predictable. I enjoyed it, but I think I could have enjoyed it a WHOLE lot more, and that’s kind of a shame.

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