The Adjustment Bureau

I got free tickets to see a movie that’s due to be released next month called The Adjustment Bureau.  Here’s a trailer:

Okay.  Now, tell me.  What kind of movie do you think this is?

I’ve just watched it, and I’m still not sure.

It’s not an action movie.  It’s not a thriller.  I guess you could say it’s trying to be an exciting romantic movie???

The movie is based on a story by Phillip K Dick, and that definitely shows.  I’ve only read a bit of his stuff, but he is definitely all about the conspiracies, dark overtones, surrealism, and strange juxtapositions.  The basic premise and style of the story does ring quite true for a PKD based story.

Basically he’s replaced Heaven with a bureaucracy.   The men in hats are essentially angels, but are more like middle management.  The Director has a Plan which they make sure goes according to plan, interfering in little ways.

That’s basically all you need to know.  I won’t spoil it for you.

But you know what?  I can’t.  Because you can see this one coming a mile away.  If you’ve ever seen a movie or TV show that dealt with the fight for self-determination vs fate, then you’ll pretty much predict what happens in this movie.

So you’ve got to ask yourself, what does this movie bring to the table that’s new?

Well, it’s got a lot of nice hats.

Yeah, that’s about it.

If you need a date movie and you don’t want an out and out chick flick, this could fit the bill.  You can enjoy the weirdness.  But on just about every level I found it came up short – it came up short on comedy, on action, on drama, even on romance.  It tried to fill a lot of boxes and in my opinion filled none.

And it did one of the things that I absolutely hate.  The female lead, Emily Blunt was, more or less, the prize.  That’s her role.  She’s in the dark as to what’s going on until near the end, then tags along – pretty much dragged along – until the climax.  That kind of thing gets my goat.

But it’s got a lot of nice hats.


2 thoughts on “The Adjustment Bureau

  1. You’ll have to tell me how it is. I am definitely curious to see it. It looks like a paranoid thriller with maybe a slight science fiction slant? The film’s release has been delayed which isn’t always a good sign. Still, I like Matt Damon and Emily Blunt.

    1. I would have to say it’s mediocre, sadly. But who knows, you might disagree.

      But hey, it had some nice hats. By the end I was calling it the Hat movie. Definitely my favorite Hat based movie of all time.

      You know why they wear hats? It’s a plot point. It’s how they can access the portals they have in doors everywhere – like Monsters Inc – which is why Matt Damon is seen wearing one. He uses the portals to try and circumvent the Adjustment Bureau’s plans and get with the girl at the end in a chase that also reminds me of Monsters Inc.

      I have to give the movie props for taking that premise and not making it seem nearly as ridiculous as it does when I just wrote it. Believe it or not I can actually get behind the idea of angels being middle management of the bureaucracy of the universe.

      I’d almost recommend you seeing this one. For the simple reason that even though the screenplay was written by someone else, it does definitely carry the feel of a Phillip K Dick book. Forget Blade Runner or Total Recall, those don’t have the feel of the stories of his that I’ve read. Even Minority Report doesn’t capture what his stories are like, despite the fact it checks off many of the elements. This feels more the Dick who wrote The Man in the High Castle, Faith of our Fathers (from Dangerous Visions), and A Scanner Darkly.

      BTW, you should read The Man in the High Castle. Awesome book.

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