This Philip K. Dick light, parallel
universe romance is a fascinating ride precisely because it doesn’t take its Twilight
Zone sci-fi premise any deeper than absolutely necessary. Beginning with a Hotspur
vibrant young Senate candidate’s late campaign gaffe and continuing with a
guardian angel who fails to bump into his charge in the park, resulting in a
spontaneous cute meet romance that should never have happened, writer/director
George Nolfi keeps the beats coming at us so fast and furiously that we haven’t
time to question Dick’s original short story premise that a creepy band of guys
with hats are running our lives according to a master plan.
The Adjustment Bureau benefits
from its spot on casting of the regular guy self-deprecating Matt Damon as the
frustrated candidate, the cracker jack smart Emily Blunt as the girl who tries
to get away and the incomparably smooth Anthony Mackie as the conscience
stricken guardian angel who shows Damon how to slip slide away from the guys
with the plan.
Weightier -- although far less
pompous than The Matrix – Bureau allows us the exhilarating delight of
skipping through the back doors of a Brooklyn/Manhattan universe that permits
all kinds of authority evading for men who wear hats.
The clincher is the Damon/Mackie
pairing that hits the same sweet spot achieved by Jimmy Stewart and his angel
in It’s A Wonderful Life. These guys are so deliciously self-effacing
and true to their characters – as well as to our Twitter/Facebook version of
modern friendship -- that they could literally have swapped roles without
putting a crimp in our fun.
The Adjustment Bureau insists
on the oldest movie conceit: that everything of importance hinges on our
meeting the right boy or girl and that screen chemistry is destiny.