Philip K. Dick adaptations don’t usually fall into the romantic thriller department, unless I’m missing something about Quaid and Kuato’s relationship in Total Recall, but The Adjustment Bureau is as much about Matt Damon and Emily Blunt’s love story as its typically Dick-ish paranoid sci-fi elements. Not that the two have the most amazing movie star chemistry, but there’s something relaxed and believable about their interest in one another that stands in stark contrast to the film their characters are living in.
The Adjustment Bureau is at its best when they are on screen together. When they’re not, we get Matt Damon running down a street, through a magic door, or being relentlessly explained at – sometimes by Mad Men’s John Slattery, other times by Terence Stamp. Problem is, the film’s premise only stands up for about a few minutes. That’s why it was written as a short story. Some of the key explanations, such as why the Bureau can access magic doors (spoiler alert – magic hats) are so ridiculous that how the actors kept straight faces is beyond me.
It’s a shame because, with a little bit more acknowledgment of the preposterous elements of the film, The Adjustment Bureau may have been a little more enjoyable instead of taking itself so seriously. Hide