Sunday, 6 March 2011

"Inception meets Jason Bourne"... apparently

In recent years we've seen a great resurgence in the popularity and creativity in the Sci-Fi genre. From Donnie Darko, to Moon, to last year's Inception, we've been spoilt with an influx of fresh new talent. The Adjustment Bureau appears to be the next in line to reinvent the genre, and whilst it has a refreshing concept, it lacks the conviction or edge to become the film it so desperately wants to be.

"As you can see, we're going to gloss over the thin plot by making you wear revealing outfits."

The story centres around politician David Norris (Damon), and his fleeting experiences with a ballerina called Elise (Blunt), which are cut short by a mysterious external force. Turns out that a group of men in hats and 1950s looking suits called the Adjustment Bureau control the destiny of every single person on the planet, and will stop at nothing to see their plan come true. Unlike modern Sci-Fi's, AD feels like a throwback to old TV shows like Dr Who and The Twilight Zone. It doesn't feel the need to explain every single minute plot detail like our dear friend Christopher Nolan, but instead leaves the antagonists somewhat in the dark. Which would be fine if the 'bad guys' felt like a real threat instead of spending the whole time hitting their heads and saying "Doh!".

Damon and Blunt are great as always, but the central romance just feels hokey. The fact a successful and handsome politician obsesses over a girl he's only met twice for 3 YEARS is just plain unbelievable. It sounds more like the story of a serial killer than a star-crossed love affair. And yes, I understand it's playing upon the idea of 'Fate', but the infatuation just comes off as paranoid and creepy. And unlike Inception, it doesn't have any style to fall back on, as it lacks Philip K Dick's characteristic bleakness that we've seen in films such as Blade Runner or A Scanner Darkly.

The hat is a pivotal plot device. Seriously.

But at the end of the day, the main problem with the film is that it just seems a little frivolous. The 'fate tracker books' and 'teleporter hats' are just a few things that make the a fairly thin concept feel so stretched and, well, silly.

Entertaining, maybe. Significant Sci-Fi movie, definitely not.

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