Friday, November 18, 2011
The Adjustment Bureau. C+
The opening encounter with Matt Damon and Emily Blunt is perfect, the kind of dialogue between two adults we don't see much in mainstream Hollywood fair anymore. In fact the next hour or so of The Adjustment Bureau is excellent because the plot is slowly simmering while the characters are cementing themselves in our minds. But then when the story turns full throttle, the film becomes a bit of a hokey mess, an obvious and tedious exercise in science and intrigue. Instead of our pulses being pounded, they are deadened by writer-director George Nolfi's lackluster effort. That being said, the leads are fantastic, both individually and in the chemistry they share. Blunt especially is impressive. She has the beauty of the typical lead actress, yet she also has the grace that most lack. She radiates the screen, and Damon's sturdy, unobtrusive work compliments her greatly. The Adjustment Bureau is a disappointment in that it's a science fiction story from Philip K. Dick that's ultimately not very good, but it's at times a joy due to the romantic side of the plot. And while it's far more silly than impressive, the film can boast the fact that logically it works. That, unlike, say, Source Code, it never leaves the audience scratching their heads and wondering how that narrative blunder worked its way into the script.