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The Adjustment Bureau: You Can Fight Fate, If You Try Hard Enough

Updated on March 19, 2013

David Norris (Matt Damon) is an up-and-coming political candidate for the New York Senate, but unfortunately is defeated thanks to his perceived immaturity. While writing his concession speech, he encounters Elise (Emily Blunt), a dancer hiding from the security of a wedding party she crashed. They hit it off, and her spontaneity encourages David to give a great speech, keeping his political ambitions alive for the next time.

The next day, Harry (Anthony Mackie), a mysterious figure who's been following David, is supposed to cause him to spill his coffee on his shirt, but fails. This results in David meeting Elise again, and the two once again hit it off. It also means that when David gets to his office, he finds time frozen and people altering the minds of his coworkers. These people, led by Richardson (John Slatterly), tell him that they are the Adjustment Bureau, whose job it is to make sure people stick to The Plan, a blueprint for humanity's future. Richardson tells David that he can be allowed to go free, but if he exposes them his mind will be wiped entirely, He also says that David and Elise being together goes against the Plan, and so that cannot be permitted to happen. David is indignant about this but is forced to comply.

However, three years later, as David is preparing to announce his candidacy once again, he encounters Elise by chance and is now determined to remain with her no matter what. Richardson does his best to stop them, but eventually the Adjustment Bureau has to call in the even more powerful Thompson (Terence Stamp) to keep David from disrupting the plan.

This movie was quick-witted, interesting, and well thought out. I liked how as the movie went along it became clear that the Bureau was not an evil organization crushing free will, but one devoted to the greater good, while still remaining effective antagonists. I loved the chemistry between Damon and Blunt, as David and Elise try to stay together despite the roadblocks thrown in their way. And I loved the sequences where Adjustment Bureau agents (and later David and Elise) run through doors only to pop up in wildly different places.

Everyone in this movie (Damon, Blunt, Mackie, Slatterly, Stamp) acts magnificently. David is infinitely charming and charasmatic, and you can see why he is a plausible politician (and why Elise would fall for him). Elise is similarly charming and reacts very appropriately when things start to get weird. Mackie was great at showing his character's uncertainty that he was doing the right thing, and both Stamp and Slatterly are magnetic in their scenes. This is a movie all of them should be proud of.

There are a few plot hiccups (why do we only ever see the ability to stop time once? Why couldn't Harry teleport to fix the mistake he made at the beginning of the movie?), and Elise is a bit underdeveloped (at least in comparison to David and some of the Adjustment Bureau agents) all in all this was a great, inventive, and thoroughly entertaining movie. I thoroughly enjoyed all of it, and you should defintely check it out if you can.


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