Signing in Codename Miss Blue…
Last week I went to see The Adjustment Bureau and overall I have to give the movie two thumbs up. I will admit there were a few parts where the dialogue became a little hoagie and some of the transitions were a little weird but just plain movie it’s great.
SPOILERS! Do Not continue reading if you do not want to spoil the movie for yourself!
So on to review the movie. We start off with David Norris, played by Matt Damon, running for United States Senate. Now I’ll admit when I saw Matt Damon as a politician, it was a little weird for me but as in normal Matt Damon fashion he proved he can pull of any role. He loses his lead in the Senate and ends up in the bathroom to rehearse his concession speech. Enter Elise Sellas played by Emily Blunt who apparently was in the men’s bathroom hiding from security because she crashed a wedding. I had two initial concerns when watching this movie and one was Emily Blunt. All Emily Blunt lovers don’t hate me, the reason why if I can explain is that I had only seen her in the Devil Wears Prada and in that movie she although not an evil person she was a girl who was a fashionista, with a borderline b*tch attitude yet the character of Elise was meant to be endearing but Emily Blunt proves she also can also pull off the sweet, REAL girl next door with a dream! ( I know right a possibly three dimensional girl in a love relationship).
Elise and David have a funny conversation in the men’s bathroom and share a kiss only to be interrupted by Charlie (Michael Kelly) who is David’s campaign manager. David encouraged by Elise’s engaging words goes out to give a completely different speech which places him as the favorite for the 2010 Senate Race. I actually was amazed after this scene with David and Elise the dialogue was great it was just hilarious. Even later on the two are so hilarious together in terms of having that “crush” feel and trying to flirt with one another. I read on Rotten Tomatoes that these two had a “great chemistry” but there are tons of movie critics who claim that to be true especially for a love romance movie, I mean it’s a love romance the characters need to have SOME chemistry but Matt Damon and Emily Blunt definitely have chemistry! They are wonderful to watch on screen, their conversations never look forced and that’s something the movie exceeds with.
Enter a weird group of four guys who appear a top a building discussing about a “plan.” The problem with their intro although undeniably cool with these four men in suits and fedoras looking weird and ominous, the transition for this scene seemed so out of place that it got me questioning whether I was watching the same movie or not. Nevertheless the movie comes back on track and you can ignore its weird moment of transition. You then notice two of the men one Harry (Anthony Mackie) and the other named Richardson (John Slattery) in the park. Richardson is telling Harry that he be absolutely sure that David spills his coffee at 7:05. I actually felt this should have been the intro to the characters because honestly Richardson and Harry are the main people from the adjustment bureau that we focus on and yes four men a top a building does look ominous but this also gives that same feel because of the fact that it’s a little eerie that these two men are so invested in getting David to spill his coffee on his shirt EXACTLY at 7:05. Moving on with our story…
David appears but Harry unfortunately falls asleep and misses his cue. David gets on a bus and sees Elise. You actually notice that these men are more than just guys in suits seeing as how Harry snapped his fingers and the coffee spilled but it didn’t spill on David’s shirt, it spilled on Elise’s skirt. Uh-oh a bump in the plan! We have a cute fun scene with David and Elise, she gives him her phone number and she gets off the bus.
David heads to his workplace and arrives to find that his friend Charlie is motionless and being examined by Richardson and other strange men in suits. This is where the plot finally goes under way. There is a chase scene where you get to see some more of what these guys in suits can do. It seems they are able to go through one door only to appear through a completely different door. David doesn’t get far and is taken to a weird warehouse. How he got there and what warehouse he’s in is left a mystery. Richardson tells him about the Adjustment Bureau which apparenlty makes sure that people stay on “the plan.” There is a plan for David’s life and they are determined to guide him and not let him diverge from it. The plan was created by someone they call “the Chairman”. If David tells anyone about them he will be “reset”, in other words lobotomized. The plan called for him to meet Elise only once, and he is told to forget her; Richardson destroys the paper with her phone number.
Harry, feeling bad for the events that have transpired, tells David about his role as a “caseworker”. I love the mysteriousness of these characters. Although you are told about what they are supposed to do, they never fully explain the plan, or fully explain the notebooks they carry, so they allow you to just know enough to keep you interested. The dialogue with Harry and David although interesting because you learn about the characters there are a few points that get a little hoagie. Like I said the good points are keeping the characters in a shroud of mystery however they destroy it a little on two points in the conversation. One point is where Harry says that they are working for “the Chariman” but that humans have a different names for him. This part was okay but he didn’t have to explain that part because he made it clear with how he described “the Chairman” that he was some parallel to God they didn’t need to S-P-E-L-L it out. They do the same thing a little later where I can’t recall but I think David asks Harry “are you an angel?” I mean…really? did we have to go down that road? Once again these two dialogue points are slight and you are able to brush them off and still enjoy the movie but it’s just annoying because people (I hope) are smart enough to get to this religious parallel without being forcibly led there.
Weird point number…. Well I don’t know but then we cut to three years later which again the transition is just kind of odd. Other films have done that where they place the time that has passed in text but I don’t know it seemed awkward as if it took us out of the storyline for a few seconds and took us to another one. I don’t know those transitions do it so weird. They do it again later where they jump eleven months. Just bizarre.
Thus we encounter David who is still attempting to “write” his own fate by riding the same bus for three years. And guess what? Yes he eventually finds Elise! Of course the Adjustment bureau appear and are appalled that he has found her again. They attempt to separate them by changing their schedules so they can’t see each other. David realizes this and attempts to find Elise but Richardson and the other “caseworker” have other “plans” for David.
There is actually a really amusing scene here between David and Richardson. David struggles to find out where Elise’s ballet practice has been moved but Richardson has disabled the phones I believe for a five mile or ten mile radius. But David confronts Richardson saying he will find her. The faces of Richardson and the caseworker when they realize what he’s going to do. David walks into a coffee shop and yells out to everyone if they know the dance company that Elise is in and surprisingly someone does! Also to point out here it is made quite clear early on by Harry and then re-established in this scene these are not all powerful beings, they have their limitations and they can’t just do whatever they want. They have a boss to listen to at the end of the day. This in turn makes them interesting characters.
A chase scene ensues again, I have to admit though these chase scenes are fun and awesome to watch. There is a lot of talk about “ripples” which Richardson keeps creating to try to get David away from Elise to no avail. David eventually sees Elise dancing which creates the biggest ripple and unfortunately for Richardson and the “caseworker” leaves them at their max for ripples. Now you’re probably gonna ask me what are ripples? Well they are basically when the plan deviates due to someone’s decision and even the Adjustment bureau having to use their powers in order to stop someone from deviating off plan is also creating a ripple.
Richardson fails and heads back to the Bureau. He finds out that in older versions of the plan Elise and David were meant to be together so it is no surprise that they are attracted to each other. There is a sense of character development here for Richardson. I feel the movie goes through three stages with these characters. One is Harry who from the beginning of the movie has been questioning following the plan. He looks over worked, tired and just stressed out over the job of messing with people’s lives. Then you have Richardson who you think is the unfeeling boss of Harry however once he finds out about Elise and David he also begins to question certain things and even attempts to console Harry on the whole situation. He still doesn’t question the plan as Harry does but he understands that occasionally there are things in their jobs that are tough to do but according to him “have to be done.” Then you have Thompson apparenlty a.k.a. “The Hammer” who is a veteran and a pro at his job. They basically bring him out when things get serious.
Thompson intercepts David and points out that by staying with Elise he not only destroys his own dreams but destroys hers as well. So Eleven months later (another weird transition surprise!) David hasn’t talked to Elise but of course he’s not happy. But as “fate” would have it he sees an announcement of Elise’s wedding in the paper and thus his questions of fate come back again.
Harry feeling guilty decides to help David. He divulges to David that it was he who was responsible for the death of his father and brother. He admits that his mother was not him but just chance. The death of his father and brother was supposed to motivate him to be somebody…a senator perhaps? Harry helps David by teaching him how to use the doors. Apparently this feat can only be done by wearing their fedoras which would explain why Richardson had trouble opening the door earlier when his hat fell off.
This scene is full of anxiety because you are well aware the moment he walks through the first door Thompson will be on top of him. It is a another huge chase scene. I know you probably are thinking that oh no another chase scene but they make each chase scene different. I mean if you’re going to hate on the chase scenes then you didn’t like The Matrix because there are a lot of chase scenes but they make each one different. So David finds Elise and I love her reaction to him just popping in and saying: I love you, don’t marry him, and I’m sorry for leaving you. I mean what a hilarious scene he’s trying to not look crazy which makes himself look more crazy and poor Elise is probably thinking well where are the people in the white suits.
Luckily David is smart and realizes he needs to prove he’s making sense so he takes Elise across town through the doors. Of course learning things that shouldn’t be able to happen are happening well you have a nervous breakdown. If anything Emily Blunt proves she is an awesome actress in this scene. David eventually tells her he can either go through the door alone and never see her again or she can go with him and they can go to the source a.k.a “the Chairman” to see why they can’t be together. More chasing ensues as Elise and David race through the Bureau hoping to see the chairman. You actually think they are going to make it but for some reason they end up on the top of the building. They share a passionate kiss which for some reason the other caseworkers just decide to watch until for some reason they disappear and then only Thompson is there? This was weird I don’t know why this was done. Was the point that “love conquers all” well I mean they’re going to prove that a lot more in a few seconds versus this non subtle way of doing things. Anyway Thompson appears only to be stopped by Harry who has new orders from “the Chariman” apparently there were so many ripples the plan has been “Rewritten.”
There is a small bit of humor and jab I felt at other movies because Harry tells David “Even Thompson has a boss.” And then David asks “Harry are you the Chairman.” He laughs and says “no.” I mean that was funny. This is the best part of the movie and my favorite decision that the film makers made which is they did not show the chairman. The main issue if they had shown “the Chairman” is that then he definitely would have been compared to “the Architect” in The Matrix films not to mention the mysteriousness the film had, had would have been utterly destroyed.
Of Course David and Elise are free to go now having Free will and able to write their own fate. THE END.
As mentioned I loved the overall film but it does make certain mistakes that if cleared up would make it an amazing movie. If I had to give it a rating I would give it maybe a 7.5/10. There are two main issues the transitions which are just well weird and the fact that most people after watching the whole film will know this film has religious themes there is no need to forcibly lead you there.
This is Codename Miss Blue Signing Out…