The Adjustment Bureau Blu-Ray Review

“All I have are the choices that I make and I choose her”- David Norris

Matt Damon stars as the charismatic congressman David Norris, who is targeted by the mysterious forces of his own destiny, inthis adaption of Phillip K Dick’s story “Adjustment Team”.

This genre-straddling blockbuster can now be enjoyed through the wonders of home entertainment, as it made its anticipated DVD and Blu-Ray release a fortnight ago.

Writer and Director George Nolfi (Ocean’s Twelve/ The Bourne Ultimatum) works to inject some deep philosophical intellect into this romantic thriller, by exploring a subject which most Hollywood directors would be too frightened to touch- an idea where fate is personified and free-will seems like luxury.

The story focuses on politician Dave Norris who, despite his immature slip-ups, has the promise to become a future US President. Moments before delivering the speech to secure his seat in the U.S Senate, he has a chance encounter with a woman in the bathroom. Elise Sellas played by Emily Blunt, is beautiful and mysterious and capitates Norris’s heart in under three minutes.

Norris soon realises that his series of chance encounters with Elise are numbered, after an intervention from The Adjustment Bureau leaves him knowing that she is not part of his predetermined ‘master plan’. And that these agents of fate will do anything in their power to keep the duo apart.

Essentially The Adjustment Bureau is a compelling love story which follows the age-old tale of two star-crossed lovers overcoming unthinkable odds to stay together. And that’s what right with the film. But in its running time of 124 minutes, there are some crucial factors which hold this movie back from receiving any sort of critical acclaim.

What I would describe as The Truman Show meets Inception, this film hits some fatal errors mid-way as the political storyline surrounding Damon’s character is effectively abandoned.  It cuts the narrative short and viewers will be left scratching their heads, wondering what happened to his political career which was the main focus for the first 60 minutes of the film.

And this seems to be trend running throughout the story, as rather a lot is left unanswered. The omnipotent powers of the all-might Bureau are contradicted once Damon puts on his dodgy hat and opens a thousand doors around Manhattan. Surely this militant army of planners have the power and ability to stop Damon’s character from doing anything. Yet somehow he heroically out-thinks and out-runs the Bureau to defy the odds of fate.

Simply this is convincing idea for a movie which unfortunately isn’t executed to its full potential.   I must give credit where it is due for Nolfi, for attempting a film which resists the all too predictable conventions of Hollywood cinema but takes a risk to offer something new to the table. While it’s questionable whether this risk really paid off or not, you can’t fault his talent in not only adapting the Phillip K Dick screenplay and writing the script but also directing the film. Yet Damon and Blunt both offer exceptional knock-out performances and their undeniable chemistry drives the film towards being a more successful love story than anything else.

The Blu-Ray edition is packed to the brim with exciting bonus features, including deleted and extended scenes and a feature commentary by George Nolfi himself.  It also includes a computer-generated simulation of door-travelling entitled The Labyrinth of Doors, along with a mini feature about film-shooting on location in New York City. You can also catch Matt Damon and Emily Blunt opening up about their character’s heartfelt relationship in another bonus feature called Destined to Be.

The Adjustment Bureau is out now on DVD and Blu-Ray.  Pick up a copy and see why Nolfi scores big with this Manhattan masterpiece.

About The Author

Manleen is currently studying Journalism (BA) at London’s elite City University. As an avid movie fanatic, she is combining the skills taught within her degree to kick-start her career as a movie critic. She’s worked with some media heavyweights in the past, such as the BBC, CNN and Orange Film Club. Manleen has joined the team and takes on the role of news and reviews writer and social media promoter.

5 Responses

  1. Manleen Gill

    Do you guys think Damon and Blunt make a good on-screen duo?

  2. Andrew.Pierce

    Although I didn’t feel the film worked as a whole, they did make a good duo. I reckon Damon works in any on screen coupling.

    • Manleen Gill

      Really. What do you think the film lacked? I felt it lost sight of it’s initial intention as a sci-fic, and was too heavily reliant on the love story.

  3. Matt

    5 stars? i feel this maybe too much for this film. It’s good but not amazing

    • Manleen Gill

      The concept was refreshing, plus the fab blu-ray extras push it to a 5 star (for me)


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