“Bureau” lacks substance, reasonable headwear

Damon (right) gives a outstanding performance as the sweet, likable David Norris. He's not just an action hero typecast anymore.

Sam Mogensen, Staff Writer

“The Adjustment Bureau” ventures into a previously unexplored area of film, mixing elements of a sci-fi thriller with a romantic comedy. The mixture of the two genres looked great in previews, but in reality, it lacked balance.

Matt Damon stars as the young, rising politician David Norris, who meets Elise (Emily Blunt) in the men’s bathroom at one of his speeches. Having fallen hopelessly in love with Elise from the moment they met, David will do anything to be with her.

Just as Elise and David’s relationship starts to kick off, David’s life is rendered uncontrollable with the appearance of mysterious, dark-suited men sporting classy fedoras. Known as the Adjustment Bureau, the men “adjust” peoples’ lives to make sure they are following “the plan.” Their demands: David is not to see Elise ever again, and he cannot reveal the existence of the Bureau or they will “reset” him.

With an interesting enough plot, the film is set up to succeed, but when the Bureau materializes, the quality of the plot worsens as the two main characters predictably overcome all obstacles in the name of love. The movie is very nail-biting at times, and the sci-fi elements add some much needed flare. In one scene in particular David is hunted by the Bureau for fighting their plan while everything else in New York City is frozen in time.

Damon plays a more romantic role than most of his fans are accustomed to in “The Adjustment Bureau.” The action hero fares surprisingly well in the cutesy scenes. Damon’s portrayal of David is very likable, causing viewers to laugh with him in the beginning of the film, and care for him later on. Emily Blunt started off with admirable acting as she charmed the audience with her witty jokes and cute accent, but her acting slowly deteriorated as the movie progressed and things became more serious.

Overall the movie had quality acting and drew viewers in with the its bold sci-fi twist, but it felt like the movie ran out of good material towards the climax. Hastily-added scenes that happened to be supernatural resulted in making the motion picture feel more like an episode of “The Twilight Zone” rather than a feature film.