Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Movie review - the adjustment bureau

Well this is a tough one, it's rare for me to come out of a cinema without a firm opinion on the value of the previous 90 minutes of precious life. But I did find myself less than definitive as Mrs Stuffy sleepily (tiny clue there) demanded my opinion. Is this film, as promoted, " a mix of Bourne and Inception"? Well, not Inception for sure, the story is simpler, less layered, less rooted in faux science and more studded with cod theology. Not Bourne either, the studied realism of the Bourne action was notably absent as magic and old-school mystery held sway.

Was it a thriller? Not really, as it played to it's finale it was pretty apparent how it would end, and the fact that I found myself hoping that I was right and that it would be all right for Damon and Blunt and that they would live happily ever after made it clear, it's a love story.

It's not a deep and meaningful love story, it's not a sad love story, like er, Love Story, there's no real sense of tragedy, no real sense of risk and no real risk of tears at the end. It's not a frothy chick flick either, you have to pay attention and you have to stay awake, and it helps if you've read the Phillip K Dick short story on which it's based, although not much.

So who's it aimed at? Scarily it might be me, I enjoyed it, I loved, (and frankly found vaguely desirable) the Emily Blunt character and I resonated with the Matt Damon politico, I enjoyed their interplay, the wordplay, the humour and I delighted in a brief visit by the blessed Terence Stamp doing angelic menacing thug, inevitably though, there's a but.
You knew there would be didn't you? I think it's lazy to use God, however framed, as an off-screen character.
If you're going to offer a story based around an omniscient,omnipotent being served by minions who obey unquestioningly, you can't get away with making the final twist, "oh well, God got it wrong, but he's still there making sure we're all OK"...
Woah there, he got it wrong!, ,you can't have your deity having his (angel) cake and eating it.
Not fair.

So I guess that's spoiled it for you, never mind, it's not a bad movie, but don't expect miracles.

Adjust this Haiku until it works...

What rhymes with bureau?
Emily and her fine beau
But Destiny? poor show


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