Saturday, 19 March 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

I saw a trailer for The Adjustment Bureau in the cinema a long time ago and I immediately filed it under my mental “movies to look out for” log however fast forward to some considerable time after this event I found myself in the cinema not actually remembering anything about The Adjustment Bureau and why I was so excited about the film in the first place.

PLOT: David (Matt Damon) a politician who has just lost an election meets Elise (Emily Blunt) a quirky dancer who has just dared herself to crash a wedding and falls instantly in love. The Chairman has other ideas and sends his crack squad of Adjusters to intercept this unrequited love and keep both David and Elise on their preordained paths. The bitch that is Chance gets in the way of the Chairman’s plans. David and Elise try to outrun the Bureau. The Bureau can teleport through doors only if they wear a hat. David puts on a hat in a bid to outsmart The Bureau. David outsmarts the Bureau. David and Elise go to the top of a skyscraper in a bid to speak to the Chairman. The Chairman, pleased with the stubborn defiance of David and Emily rewards their blasphemous actions by allowing them to remain together forever or until they divorce. END PLOT

The fact that The Adjustment Bureau is based on a novel matters not to me since I have not read it but the plot is pure undiluted bollocks.

The Chairman is God and the Adjustment Bureau are his angels. It isn’t subtle but it doesn’t try to be. The angels have limited powers which can only be utilised when they are wearing a hat. The Chairman being so worldly wise implemented this little caveat in order to keep his employees from staging some sort of Bureaucratic coup and kicking him off the Board.

Towards the end of the movie it is made abundantly clear that it is not the angels but rather their hats which wield the power and this provides an explanation as to why David can suddenly develop their attributes with very little formal training - there wasn't even a montage!

I will admit to putting on a hat and turning a door knob in a dramatic fashion in order to see if I too could transport myself to an alternate location but alas either my knob turning wasn’t dramatic enough or my hat wasn’t the right style. I just looked rather silly wearing a hat in doors whilst bursting into the kitchen and scaring the shit out of my mother.

Hats - blessed by god but not to be trusted.

The hat concept brought about a line which was uttered with such sincerity that it was wonderfully unintentionally funny - during the dramatic finish we are told by an angel “be careful, don’t trust anyone with a hat.” Any cinema regular would have found this line amusing but The Nerdy Trio always take things too far as we have been living by this rule for years to the extent that it is a normal part of our lives.

The Adjustment Bureau had the potential to be awful but it is saved by two things: Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Damon and Blunt are favourites and I was pleased to see that they worked well together.

If The Adjustment Bureau had fallen into the hands of a lesser actor, and by that I mean someone like Nicolas Cage, it would have been just awful. It was saved solely by the fact that I already liked the cast.

The Adjustment Bureau isn’t a good movie and I would find it hard to recommend it to anyone but I can’t help but like it. It was fun, charming and it passed ninety minutes quite nicely. It gets a 7/10.

I can only hope The Adjustment Bureau raises public awareness of dangerous and shifty hat wearing bastards.

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