The Adjustment Bureau 2011 Movie (Review)


Only love counts: The calm science fiction thriller "The Adjustment Bureau" is a film for die-hard romantics. 

It once again discusses the conflicting discrepancy between self-determination and providence when chance lets a man stumble upon the supernatural and rigidly bureaucratic world control. 

In the adaptation of a short story penned by the much-filmed cult author Philip K. 

Dick (who, among other things, provided the basis for the milestone “Blade Runner”), free will is only imagination. 

It is enough for the color selection of a tie or the preferred make of a car. In addition, however, the path of human life, like that of the screenplay, is strictly prescribed.

Men in gray suits and old-fashioned hats are responsible for controlling the fates determined by others, "Momo" says hello. 

They ensure that the plan drawn up by an unnamed source (religious motifs are thankfully left out almost entirely) follows the established tracks. 

Until a moment of inattention shakes the worldview of New York politician David Norris (Matt Damon, "True Grit") to its foundations. Actually, the mysterious clerk Harry (Anthony Mackie, "The Hurt Locker") should prevent him one morning from catching a certain bus. 

But just in the David meets his great love, the ballet dancer Elise (Emily Blunt, "Wolfman"), again.

Worse still, he arrives at his office too early and catches the suits of the "Adjustment Bureau" (the original title) instructed by department head Richardson (very familiar with the wardrobe since "Mad Men": John Slattery) brainwashing a confidante. 

After he has been informed about the unbelievable course of events, he is dismissed with the clear warning that he must never see Elise again. David's political future is too important for their unplanned emotional connection to jeopardize providence. 

Years pass as David's life unfolds according to plan. But when he bumps into Elise and they finally find each other, Richardson tries to stop the liaison with the help of veteran Thompson (Terence Stamp, "Operation Valkyrie").

As unspectacular as the story sounds, it is staged in a surprisingly reserved way. The directorial debut of "Bourne Ultimatum" author George Nolfi is not a standardized blockbuster, despite the combination of underlying philosophical discourse and visual ingenuity - thanks to their hats the "senior" officers can take magical shortcuts through any door. 

The core, which is aimed at the power of love that outshines everything, seems quite banal and noticeably undermines the tension of the final escape through the stunningly photographed backdrop of New York. "The Plan" does not come close to the subtlety and optical radiance of "Inception". The well-acted mystery love story still offers enough variety from the monotony of Hollywood - and not only gives die-hard romantics enough fodder for the heart and eye.

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