Monday, August 15, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

Watched It - August 14, 2011

Stars - Matt Damon, Emily Blunt
Director - George Nolfi
Rating - PG-13

In 20 Words or Less - A young senatorial candidate must overcome the ultimate obstacle (literally) to be with the woman of his dreams.
Themes - Love, Fate, the Future, Free Will, Choices, Destiny, God
Pros - The movie provides a unique blend of sci-fi excitement with a deep discussion about the nature of reality and the administration of the universe.  It also provides an interesting insight into a view of God that is probably quite common among the masses.
Cons - The underlying attitude about God (referred to as "the Chairman") that drives the film is cynical, cold, and (in my opinion) misguided.  The acting of most of the "Agents" is stiff and contrived.
Movie Moment - The climatic chase scene was creative and offered the viewer a brief but exciting tour of New York City.
Genuineness - 4 out of 10


  1. I thought it was entertaining and very thought-provoking, especially given the intense discussions surrounding free will that exist in some quarters. I also felt that Damon and Blunt probably made a better movie out of a so-so script. But the message... Well, what exactly was it? That we can cheat fate? That if your will is strong enough you can change your destiny? Was it a kind of "Matrix" red pill thing? Or was the message perhaps more biblical than at first appears? Though the chairman had a plan and his agents kept reacting to the "free" actions of Damon's character, in the end, the chairman retained his "sovereignty" while allowing real choices to be if...even that was part of the plan. There is a kind of compatabilism between sovereignty and free will that we can't quite explain, and maybe "The Adjustment Bureau" came closer to touching on it than perhaps the producers intended.

  2. I agree about it being both entertaining and thought-provoking. I will have to admit that I felt the film redeemed itself a bit in the way the whole thing concluded. However, I still felt as if "the Chairman" was portrayed in a cold, sort-of sadistic "puppet-master" sort of way. I also found it interesting that the only way the main characters were able to receive the privilege of exercising free will (and having an empty plan book) was by resisting and rebelling against the apparent (shall we say revealed?) will of the Chairman. Just not sure about the picture of God that was painted through the story--either intentionally or not.

  3. Agreed. You know, from another angle, the whole thing kind of echoed Genesis 3. A rebellious "angel" helps a man, with the influence of a woman, to resist the chairman's plan until the chairman says, "have it your way."