The Adjustment Bureau offers high concept sci-fi in a cool package. The credits offer a Philip K. Dick story as source material. A 1969 film called The Monitors used the motif of aliens who wear bowler hats. Here the members of the adjustment bureau, who may or may not be aliens, wear hats more in keeping with the style of men’s head wear of the 50s and 60s.
The Adjustment Bureau works if you accept the cosmology of the story. The men of the adjustment bureau keep a diary of all people on Earth, which looks like a moving schematic drawing. These guardians of our fate must wear their hats in order to utilize their power to transport themselves across space and time.
At the heart of The Adjustment Bureau is a love story. The lovers, Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, are on their way to successful careers, one in politics and the other in the arts. Neither will reach their goals if they become an item. It’s kind of silly but the sleek photography and Gotham settings enhance the story to make it rich in fairy tale reality. We’re not immersed in fantasy like Somewhere in Time but we’re also not mimicking the multiple realities of Inception. The Adjustment Bureau will appeal mainly to those who like to roll in this kind of hybrid romantic sci-fi universe.
– Michael Bergeron