The Adjustment Bureau
Flailing and unambitious, considering the source.
Loosely based on Philip K. Dick's short sci-fi story The Adjustment Team, this is more a complicated, passionate romance. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star as a couple who were never supposed to fall in love, with Damon as David Norris, a charming would-be New York senator and a bit of a wild card. His meeting with Blunt's equally mischievous dancer Elise in a men's room lights a spark in David, and changes the public's perception of him for the better following his defeat. Years pass, David is on course to run for senate once more, but he never stops thinking about Elise. When chance throws them together again, forces conspire to keep them apart and David becomes one of the few people in the universe to gain knowledge of the agents of fate.
These agents, led by John Slattery's sharp-suited Richardson, look like '50s noir private detectives as they dash around Manhattan pouring all their attention to David's lovelife - which you'd think was the cause of World War III. Anthony Mackie is the sympathetic agent assigned to David, while Terence Stamp is the higher pay grade that takes over when David is adamant he won't give up the woman he loves. All three of them are limited to spouting the same repetitive spiel.
The opening half hour is a fascinating look at election politics, with Damon captivating and convincing as a potential leader. The riveting Blunt stops Elise becoming one of those dreadful kooky types that lead suits astray by keeping her British accent and sardonic delivery, and by having scorching chemistry with Damon. There's little mystery, and the science fiction element is restricted in writer/director George Nolfi's hands. Having scripted the likes of Ocean's Twelve, The Sentinel and The Bourne Ultimatum, his dramatic skills are polished, but any sense of awe at the mysteries of the world is lacking. By no means a bad film (as romantic dramas go it's a winner), just flailing and unambitious, considering the source.