Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

     It strikes me that this story would have been more compelling if it had been set in the late 1940s to early 1950s.  I don't know Dick set his short story, but I honestly feel that the story works better in a time when people may have felt more (or as) tied to the hand of God or fate than to modern technology.  As it was, I thought that it made little use of modern day New York as a backdrop to the story.
     It may be my own short-sightedness, but I don't see why Emily Blunt has been snagging some lead roles lately.  I liked her fine as Ruthie "Pignosed" Draper in Dan in Real Life (2007), and I am aware that she can act, but she seems to lack a certain sense of weight in scenes that demand them.  Otherwise, Matt Damon and a cast of well-dressed men walk, walk quickly, and run at the a relatively slow pace (except when running through the rain) and this serves as a type of action. 
     The lack of depth in the philosophical implications of the story aside, I think this is a fine film.  It looks okay – I would have preferred a grittier look for a modern day setting, or an overripe color-flushed version if it had been more retro – and stays on point as much as it can.  Damon's character doesn't seem to have enough of a sense of self to fit in with his projected destiny, but that doesn't make it unrealistic or unlikeable.
     A fine rental, I would give The Adjustment Bureau (2011) a strong B-, almost a B.  It was fun watching John Slattery and Terence Stamp strut about in the Bureau's outfits, delivering restrained (but not cryptic enough) readings.  I just would have preferred a few changes to keep me more engrossed in the story, and to make me really care about the characters.

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