"The Adjustment Bureau" may be based on a Philip K. Dick story, but that story is only about 8-pages long. So it was up to writer/director George Nolfi to create rules of this world similar to what Christopher Nolan did with "Inception."
The movie revolves around a group of angels who keep the world on track by making slight adjustments in certain people's lives. Because of this, it is really easy to slip into cheesy territory, but Nolfi does a great job of keeping the story grounded. Article continues below
Matt Damon plays David Norris, a politician who just lost a major election, but meets Elise (Emily Blunt), a girl who comes into his life as mysteriously as she disappears. David can't get her out of his mind, and Elise feels the same way. Unfortunately, the Bureau is doing everything possible to keep the two separated.
There is a bigger plan for both of them, but that plan can only be realized if the two never get together. David decides that Elise means more to him than his future and sets out to outwit the Bureau and get the girl.
This concept makes the film keep moving and gives Nolfi the chance to come up with some interesting ways to show the Bureau doing their job. He also delves into big ideas such as "destiny," "fate," and "god," but this movie is not about religion. It's about free-will and expectations. These are big things to take on in a thriller, but they are also the most successful parts of the movie.
The biggest issue has to be the fact that there are no consequences for the characters. If David gets Elise, then it's great for both of them. If he doesn't, then the two go on to have great separate lives. And the Bureau seems non-violent. In fact, they are quite polite. So all that running that Damon does in the movie is hardly suspenseful or thrilling. His life is not in danger and he'll be fine either way.
If you can get passed that part and the fact that Elise doesn't spend much time looking for David, there are other things in the film that may bother you. I won't go too much into it, but there are certain rules that the Bureau follows and those rules will make you roll your eyes. "We can't follow you when it rains," "we have to wear these hats," my eyes are rolling already.
In the end, it's an enjoyable movie with great visuals and an interesting story. It has its problems, but it's unique and incredibly entertaining. And sometimes that's the most important thing.