Thursday, 10 March 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

Despite a title even duller than that of its source material ('Adjustment Team' is hardly 'A Little Something For Us Tempunauts', is it Philip K Dick?) and a bunch of appalling posters that looked like they were photoshopped by a blind, mitten-wearing panda, The Adjustment Bureau is in fact a very good sci-fi slash thriller slash romance. Why, it's almost as if the quality of a film's marketing is in no way related to the success of the finished product!
The Adjustment Bureau admirably resists several of its genre's clich├ęs - it's talky rather than actiony, the characters are actually likeable and react convincingly to utterly bonkers events, and the dark forces conspiring against our heroes are refreshingly fallible, thanks in part to the performances of Anthony Mackie and John Slattery as the Adjustment Bureaucrats who, despite CONTROLLING THE FATE OF EVERY HUMAN BEING SINCE TIME BEGAN, still communicate via text messages.

George Nolfi's script builds the attraction between the main characters believably and with respect for the audience, and although his direction is pedestrian at times, when The Big Chase does eventually show up, it's through a maelstrom of mystic portals that weave through Manhattan, and feels more like a natural conclusion than an excuse to go handheld and make Matt Damon run around a lot.

Unfortunately nobody thought to wake Terence Stamp up before putting him in front of the camera. Where he should be terrifying and awesome he's just bored and meek, failing to do much with an already underwritten role, and his character's payoff is embarrassingly weak. Even his shirt collar hates him, repeatedly popping out of his waistcoat to annoy pedantic viewers (hello).
Of course no review of The Adjustment Bureau would be complete without reference to the stars of the show, Matt Damon's strapping pecs, shifting like tectonic plates beneath his tight-fitting shirts, and Emily Blunt's equally remarkable d├ęcolletage. This is a film in which tits reign supreme, and in the end no shadowy organisation or higher power can hope to overcome the mighty mammaries of the lead actors.
Well done those puppies.


  1. Science fiction with half a brain, a lot of weird, quick wit, and a surprisingly full heart. Not great, but at least good for that matter. Good review, check out mine when you can!

  2. Thanks for the review; the most welcome and useful part of your blog.

    The shirt collar thing is a perfect excuse to call you a peddant and to annoy you by not spelling it correctly, but you are the self confessed Incredible Scrutineer and I salute your observational skills. In general I find that if I'm noticing continuity quirks then the film itself has not drawn me in. The same applies to the music, editing, camera work etc. A really good film has me so engaged that I am unaware of the technicalities until I'm having a another screening. Brilliant films like those of Quentin Tarantino draw me in showing after showing.

  3. I too thought it was a fabulous love story with a twist. Damon and Blunt are, for me, the most appealing and convincing on-screen couple I've seen in years. They sucked me in like Carrey and Winslet in Eternal Sunshine.

    Oh, and I too became strangely drawn to Terence Stamp's shirt collar. Thought it was just me...

  4. Marge Gunderson14 March 2011 at 20:00

    Completely agree with your assessment of this one Mr Suit. I was completely taken aback by just how much I enjoyed this movie. As yourself and others have mentioned Damon & Blunt were utterly convincing and natural as star crossed lovers. There was a genuine spark of tenderness and attraction between them. I nearly cried with joy when Damon ses off on his quest with the hat, willing him to find his love! A really romantic movie without falling into schmaltz, loved it.

  5. The first thing I can say is that The Adjustemente Bureau is a rare film. It starts as a thriller about an aspiring U.S. senator, only to be a courageous commitment to science fiction, when in reality it is a love story. A fantastic modern reissue requited love, but impossible to divine.
    When production starts to become a science fiction story is a bit messy and a bit mislead some characters, but once you become more or less with the leitmotif of the hat brigade, tension arises an intense thriller.
    The final resolution is a little bluff, a little fairy tale, a little Disney

  6. To my truth it is that the movie I get hooked up in a beginning, I my opinion it´s a very good idea to take her to the cinema, but ultimately I still have me expensive of idiot.

  7. An entertaining, unforseeable movie but something dense ultimately. It finishes almost without time, they do not give many answers.

  8. The movie leaves many questions without response. It is something rare. I did not like it