I really love Matt Damon, I think he is my new man crush, I can honestly watch the man do anything and to this day I will still defend Stuck on You as one of cinemas most underrated comedies. I was a little miffed by the trailer for The Adjustment Bureau, Damon usually focuses on prestige pictures with big name directors and this looked completely new for him, in fact the only Damon sci-fi that jumps to mind is Titan A.E. which I will not try to defend. Still, the trailer caught my interest and I gave it a shot. The film follows a politician (Damon) who falls for a young ballerina (Blunt), but for some reason a group of shadowy figures are working overtime to keep them apart.
Lets just get it out of the way, this is a silly movie filled with super powered being who may or may not be angels, magic hats and a politician who is loved by everyone in New York, but despite all the silliness it has something that makes you fall for this movie and that’s the love story. I’m a hopeless romantic so when films like this or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World come along, I embrace the love story and forgive all the craziness because as a very popular quartet of Liverpudlians once said “All you need is love”. The chemistry between Damon and Blunt is fantastic, you really buy that Damon hates the idea of being torn away from her and you feel her frustration that the man she loves most is an enigma to her. You root so much for these two to get together that you forgive the movie for some of its flaws (such as why these super powered hat wearing gentlemen are weak around water, or why their magic hats open doors to random places but never exactly where you need to go).
First time director Nolfi really does a bang up job with this one, the film is never slow paced and the scenes where the evil adjustment bureau chase Damon are filled with great energy and a real intense excitement that you can clearly see that Nolfi learned a thing or two from his work on The Bourne Ultimatum. The man also shoots New York beautifully; though I’m sure it was mostly shot on set, yet a scene at the bottom of The Statue of Liberty is particularly gorgeous. Sadly the energy does dip with the ending, it’s not a bad ending by any means but it is definitely an anti-climax and it seems quite clear that either Nolfi or the studio were not entirely comfortable with where the film seemed to be going.
The film is not perfect, it has a few unanswered questions and a weak ending but this is all resolved thanks to the energy that is pumped in to the film alongside the truly engaging love story, plus a very atmospheric score by Thomas Newman gives it a few bonus points. I can imagine myself re-watching this film time and time again and not getting bored. Not as good as the films I compared it to earlier in the article but it’s got Matt Damon, and that is something that those films will never have.