The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

I didn’t know what to expect from this one going in…and I’m glad. This metaphysical ‘chase’ movie is a romance at its core…and it’s handled very well. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are terrific as the love-struck couple who are simply not meant to be…but are. Their chemistry and dialogue crackles and gives added gravity to the relationship as it blossoms amidst the attempts at divine interference. The playful banter between them is spot-on and refreshing, with Damon in particular turning in a very natural performance that seems miles away from his more recent, dramatic fare. Many have compared this flick to the also good but dreary Dark City (1998), in the concept of mysterious forces working on the apparently malleable fabric of time and space for the benefit of a specific Plan. Only with this one it’s served up with a stimulating dose of charm and hope. The film itself has a straightforward but stylish presentation and a lot of the edits are clever, serving the story well. Something else I appreciated was, while this film has a number of exciting chase scenes and ideas, it doesn’t resort to a body count to bolster the action. Heavy violence has NO place in this script, as it would seem vulgar in the face of the lightly toned under-current that flows through the story. In that respect, I was pleasantly reminded of the excellent Thomas Crown Affair(1999) and that, to me, is a good thing. All in all, The Adustment Bureau was a cheerful surprise that made me smile unconsiously as I took it in. It left me feeling…good. And who can argue with that.

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