Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in a scene from The Adjustment BureauIs everything that happens part of some greater plan for our lives? If so, how much of what happens is left to chance versus intervention? These are questions that plague many people, while giving others comfort. The conundrum is: if it all happens for a reason, the terrible things along with the good must have a purpose.

On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) – a woman like none he’s ever known. But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself – the men of The Adjustment Bureau – who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path or risk everything to defy Fate and be with her.

There are really two directions to take this plot: the science fiction route or the theological one. This film attempts to walk the line between the pair, which results in relatively vague references to an omnipotent being. Nevertheless, it does lean slightly more towards one side than the other. The method of supervising people’s adherence to their pre-destined plan is interesting and sort of resembles the map of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films as it shows someone’s position on an intricate design. Furthering the fantastical element of the story, the “case workers” are able to move through the city using a network of doors that when opened a certain way with the right equipment acts as a transporter to somewhere not typically found on the other side of the exit.

The film is entertaining, even if entirely far-fetched. There are several chase sequences (which, when you factor in the abnormal doors, are slightly less linear than most) and a race against the clock. Moreover, it’s funny. The dialogue is witty and, therefore, humorous even though there are few outright jokes in the script.

Damon is the perfect casting choice. His performance is equally charming, funny, romantic and determined – all of which are the driving traits of his character. In one word, he is believable – even if the plot isn’t. Blunt is so lovely and carefree. She easily captures David’s heart as well as the audience’s support for their relationship. If John Slattery wasn’t a good actor, it would be simple to assume he got the part of a case worker because he looks good in a fedora and suit. Fortunately, he proves that’s not the only reason. Anthony Mackie is sincere in his role as a guardian struggling with the implications of his actions, while Terrence Stamp is the ideal “Hammer” sent to pound out the problem.

Not nearly as captivating as the recent, Oscar-nominated Inception, this Philip K. Dick adaptation is a dedicated love story with an intriguing subplot.

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