Monday, March 7, 2011


Review: The Adjustment Bureau
2.5 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

At first, it seems the sci-fi thriller “The Adjustment Bureau” puts far too much stock in the precarious notion of love at first sight. Having just lost a race for the U.S. Senate, New York congressman David Morris (Matt Damon) has a fleeting encounter with the pretty and plucky Elise (Emily Blunt) in a hotel bathroom before being told by a bunch of shadowy suits that he's never to see her again. These suits, of course, are dangerous mystery men who control our world's everyday operations, and who threaten to lobotomize David if he reveals their existence or pursues Elise. Why, then, does he continue to follow his heart? Can this Philip K. Dick-based fantasy yarn actually make the romance seem convincing and worth the ominous stakes? The answer, in fact, is yes. Damon and Blunt have a winsome, authentically playful chemistry that makes up for their underwritten association, and David's increasing defiance accounts for a good chunk of his motivation. It's the stakes themselves that don't add up, as writer/director/producer George Nolfi fails to fully realize the rules and the risks of the world he puts on screen. It's not a lack of love that's the problem, it's a lack of commitment.

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