Despite some silly touches and gaps, “The Adjustment Bureau” is a very enjoyable film. That’s due in part to always-excellent Matt Damon as a young Kennedyesque politician and Emily Blunt as Elise the budding ballerina.
The movie is based on a rather dark short story by Philip K. Dick in which the protagonist finds the adjuster turning elements of the world to dust. The film shifts focus (no pun intended) to the interplay of free will, determinism, life, death, God, love in competition with “career” and human determination to overcome.
David Norris (Matt Damon) is in the midst of losing a senatorial campaign when he encounters Elise (Emily Blunt) in a men’s room. Why is she there? Maybe simply to meet him. It’s one of those unexplainable things. Naturally they go for each other until the sinister guys who all wear fedoras break it up. It’s simply not in “The Plan” for David and Elise to hook up. The fedora guys, and whatcan only pass for storm troopers, exist for the purpose of seeing to it that “The Plan” is followed according to carefully graphed books. When “The Plan” is threatened by some outside influence the fedora adjust life to get back on the track. David is ticketed to become a U.S. Senator and, ultimately, President, while Elise is destined to be a prima ballerina. If they depart from the script they may wind up poorer, but with each other. Therein lays the crux of this fairly predictable but fast moving, taut movie.
After trying for three years to re-connect, David does again stumble upon Elise, and the chase is on. David chases Elise; the fedora guys chase David; Elise is perplexed; David’s best pal is bewildered and; one of the fedora guys turns out to be a good guy. However, David has all kinds of doors to open and close while pursuing Elise.
The characters of David, Elise, good guy fedora, and best pal are all appealing and well-played.