Thursday, August 4, 2011
THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU (2011)
In this stellar adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story “Adjustment Team”, Matt Damon stars as David Norris, an up-and-coming New York congressman running for senate. While practicing his concession speech in a hotel bathroom, David discovers dancer Elise (Emily Blunt) hiding from security after crashing a wedding reception. Sparks fly, but they are separated before exchanging digits. This seemingly chance meeting alters David’s speech and changes the trajectory of his career. Three years later on a bus to an important meeting he runs into Elise again. But David was never supposed to catch that bus or ever see Elise after their first encounter, as he soon learns when shadowy men in fedoras waylay him. These men are adjusters, controllers of fate. They reside in a parallel universe and step in when the human race goes “off plan”. But adjusters Mitchell (Anthony Mackie) and Thompson (Terence Stamp) underestimate the lengths David will go to forge his own future. A little science fiction, some thriller thrown in, and (at its best) a generous helping of romance, this crazy recipe of genres shouldn’t work. But director George Nolfi (who also wrote the script) seamlessly blends his two stars’ screen personas with their characters, and Damon and Blunt’s potent chemistry electrifies the film. From their first meeting we want David and Elise to be together, whatever the odds, and silly concerns like plot contrivances and murky rules for adjuster travel between worlds become inconsequential each time Damon and Blunt appear on screen. Over the years Damon has grown into a favorite actor, whose appeal (if not his range) continues to impress. And after her supporting splash in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA Blunt has finally found a movie and role that fulfills her promise of five years ago. Though a sequel seems superfluous, I can only hope that fate (or the adjusters) will grant us another Damon/Blunt movie pairing in the near future.