Ok, so of all the titles that you might give a film starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, The Adjustment Bureau is not high on the list.

It promises conservative, cautious fun; no big changes, a few minor adjustments, like adding less sugar to a cake, or eliciting a less emotional performance from your leading actors.  It is not the kind of title that you imagine is an easy sell, even for the jobbing thespian, but if you get past the uninspiring title and take a look at the DVD you will be rewarded.

Similar to Sliding Doors in concept (but little else) this is a spin on the classic ‘what if’ tale.  What if a small action that you take puts your life on a track that changes it forever?  For David Norris (Damon) and Elise Sellas (Blunt) this is what happens.  They meet by chance and fall in love, only the powers at be do not want them to be together and try to adjust that moment so that their lives are forever separate.  It is up to them to change that against all the odds and with only the help of one sympathetic agent of the enigmatic bureau Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie).

In a film about alternate realities it gets away with feeling authentic and staying on the right side of hokey. This is much to do with director Nolfi’s ability to capture Damon and Blunt’s on screen chemistry and create a film whose style aids its concept, something not easily done.  Taken from a Philip K. Dick short story entitled  Adjustment Team, the director does well not to try and cram more in and let the story come alive, something which the extras expand upon.

I am fast becoming a fan of Emily Blunt who adds depth to all the characters I have seen her play and I must admit to enjoying Damon’s performance, despite myself.

I did not see this film at the cinema and while I think that it will have looked awesome on the big screen, it translates well to DVD.  There is a richness to the visual that is well worth returning to and the performances will help you enjoy owning this film and come back to it more often than you imagine.  It is ambitious, witty and fun, but not perfect.  There will be things about The Adjustment Bureau that you will want to change but, appropriately, just a little bit.

Special Features:

  • Leaping Through New York – a look at the location work, particularly of the film’s finale. Worth a look.
  • Becoming Elise – focus on Emily Blunt’s physcailly demanding transformation into the dancer Elise.
  • Destined To Be – perfunctory character based video.
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes – some interesting sweepings from the cutting room floor (you can see one of these clips here)
  • Feature Commentary – solo performance from the director (you can read our exclusive intervew with George Nolfi here)

The Adjustment Bureau is out on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Film: [Rating:4/5]

Disc: [Rating:2.5/5]