Writer (Screenplay)/Director: George Nolfi
Running time: 102 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12
UK Release date: 4th March 2011
Watched on Sky+ Monday 23rd January 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is the second time I’ve seen this one; it didn’t really stick in the memory that well first time around so I thought I’d give it another look. What follows is an ‘adjusted’ version of my original review from last year.
Based on a short story called ‘The Adjustment Team’ by Philip K. Dick, the ideas behind this film intrigued me from the moment I first heard about it. Imagine a world where your fates are determined for you and if you stray from your prescribed path, an adjustment is made to put you back on it. The ‘people’ responsible for making the adjustments are, of course, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’. Now you know that, I can write a brief summary and I’ll tell you what I thought about the film afterwards.
David Norris is a young ambitious politician; he is running for the Senate, representing New York, when his campaign is de-railed by a scandal from his past. Resigned to defeat, he retires to the men’s washroom to practice his speech. There he meets dancer Elise Sellas who he instantly falls in love with. She gives him the confidence to give a brilliant speech that galvanises the public enough to call for him to stand for election at a later date… but that’s in the future. He is so enamoured with Elise that, when he meets her again the very next day, he asks for her number, which she gives him. Now, the path that has been prescribed for David Norris does not include a relationship with Elise Sellas. In steps the Adjustment Bureau in the guise of a group of agents led by a character known as Richardson. They do all they can to keep the couple apart and even reveal themselves to David in an effort to make him see sense. Unfortunately for them, he is determined to be with her and eventually the case is sent up to the next level and Thompson takes charge. He gives David a choice, either continue on this path and ruin both of their lives, or take the path prescribed for him. It’s a tough decision, but David has an ally in Harry Mitchell, who has been following him for a long time. And it’s here I’ll have to leave my summary or the ‘Adjustment’ Police will be altering my prescribed future (again).
This is a very well made film with some great special effects, but it is the story that drives the action and not the other way around. It is very much a love story, but a love story with a rather cunning twist and one that I quite enjoyed (with a few reservations). All of the leading cast were excellent; Matt Damon as David Norris, Emily Blunt as Elise Sellas, John Slattery as Richardson, Michael Kelly as Charlie Traynor, Anthony Mackie as Harry Mitchell and Terence Stamp as Thompson.
I love the premise of this film but I felt the execution lacked energy; it’s not until the final scenes that the pace it picked up sufficiently to make the audience prick up their ears and take notice. Maybe it’s just me, but I never really felt there was enough chemistry between the two lovers to warrant the effort put in by the David Norris character. I also found it quite hard to identify with either of them. In the end though, it’s a perfectly watchable entertaining film, without being particularly mind-bending or spectacular. I’ve given it a very slightly higher score than last time because I felt that, on a second viewing, the plot made better sense. Over all: better than average and recommended.
My score: 7.3/10
IMDb Score: 7.1/10 (based on 81,341 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 72/100 (based on 240 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 67/100 (based on 88,725 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
Harry Mitchell: [talks to David] You're going to look for her, aren't you? You won't find her. They'll make sure of it. Even if they weren't trying to stop you, there are nine million people in this city. You'll never find her. Forget about her. Move on with your life.
Richardson: Very few humans have seen what you've seen today. And we're determined to keep it that way. So, if you *ever* reveal our existence, we'll erase your brain. The intervention team will be sent, your emotions, your memories, your entire personality, will be expunged. Your friends and family will think you've gone crazy. You, well, you won't think anything...
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.theadjustmentbureau.com/index.php