Monday, March 07, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau, some thoughts

Like my typical reviews, these thoughts will be spoiler-free, but there will also be a clearly marked spoiler section, too.

I came into the theater with an idea of what The Adjustment Bureau was about.  Some guy destined to become the President or something cannot be allowed to fall in love with some girl and he's being forced to take drastic steps in order to maintain his love.  It seemed kind of like The Fountain but maybe possibly a Borne movie, too.

My expectations weren't quite right, and instead I watched a weak action movie with a heavy hand of philosophy and true love.  Suffice it to say I was bored.  The film progressed way too slowly, with an exposition that seemed to go on and on and a plot that seemed to only slightly pick up steam towards the end.  As for conflict, my assumptions were right on the surface, but the motivations behind them were completely wrong.

In short, The Adjustment Bureau was not worth the matinee prices we payed to watch it.  I thought the plot could have been salvaged by Damon & Blunt, but even their on-screen chemistry could not lift the story from its cheesiness, flawed ending, and dumb characters.

Maybe I'm in the minority here, since the film currently has a 69% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but not by much.  If you want my recommendation, I'd wait until it's out on video.



1.  Referring to the Chairman as "the Chairman" all the time was just ridiculous.  I really had a problem with the "angels" and stuff being portrayed as clandestine agents, because that's just stupid, and the corporate type setting is just plain dumb.  Their plan books with their weird, circuit-like paths came across as cheesy and simplistic.  The hats were silly.  The idea of the doors was pretty cool, but other than that I thought these guys were total squares.

2.  After half an hour of exposition I thought that the film was about to pick up speed, but nothing.  The only excitement came from Harry chasing down a bus, from Norris running from some agents, and then more running later on. 

3.  I felt like the film was out to pose deep philosophical questions about fate and free-will and stuff, but it didn't.  I think it was just out to say "Look, humanity, you keep screwing up and you better stop it or you're gonna destroy the world and Imma tell on you!"

4.  Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Anthony Mackie all did well, and I enjoyed Michael Kelly's performance quite a bit, too.

5.  The more I think about it the more I disliked the movie.  Maybe I should've save my money for Battle: LA or something.


Bill said...

Battle: LA looks kinda like a movie to switch off the brain while watching. AKA, perfect for me!

contemplatrix said...

ah, darn it! that is too bad! i will take you up on your suggestion to wait for dvd, and it will give me time to hunt down the short story it was based on in the meantime...

thanks for the review.


logankstewart said...

@Bill: Indeed, good sir. Perfect for me, too.

@L: Yeah, I'm not sure how much the film is based on the story, but hopefully the short will be better than the movie. I don't think you'll be sorry postponing this one.

Carl V. said...

I actually enjoyed the film quite a bit. I like Matt Damon and Emily Blunt a great deal and that certainly helped because I thought they were both fantastic. Personally I loved the slow build up. I get sick of non-stop action movies and appreciated that they took the time with this one to at least attempt to develop a connection between the two main characters. The science fictional elements were weak and there were some plot holes and things you don't want to think about too much or it unravels a lot, but I didn't have super high expectations for a March release and it fit the bill for what I was wanting it be.

logankstewart said...

@Carl: Aye, the acting was great, but I felt like the build-up was too slow, or perhaps the ending too quick. Generally I'm not one to complain about pacing, but there were definite problems here.

Carl V. said...

There is a reason the film was released in early March and not in the summer! :) I certainly wouldn't argue that there were problems, they just didn't affect my enjoyment of the film much. But again, I think I had some low expectations for the movie too.