Your Fate Has Just Been Adjusted

Your Fate Has Just Been Adjusted

Static Mass Rating: 5/5
Universal Pictures 

Release date: July 4th 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 102 minutes

Writer and director: George Nolfi
Music: Thomas Newman
Producers: Bill Carraro, Michael Hackett, Chris Moore, George Nolfi

Cast: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, John Slattery, Terence Stamp, Daniel Dae Kim

There’s no doubt in my mind that Philip K. Dick has contributed abundantly to the genre of science-fiction, especially with his stories adapted into blockbuster movies like Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990) and Minority Report (2002) over the past years, but with his 1954 short story, The Adjustment Team, he gives us something altogether different.

It’s not a futuristic world; there are no floating ships, super highways or space suits. Instead, what we have is the story of a man who refuses to let anyone else but himself determine his own fate.

The Adjustment Bureau

Adapted for the screen by George Nolfi, the concept of The Adjustment Bureau is a wholly existentialist one in Dickean terms as U.S. Senate David Norris (Damon) crosses paths with a free-spirited ballet dancer, Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). Realising that he wants something more in life than just politics, and spurred on by the chemistry between them, Norris decides to pursue Elise but things just keep getting in their way, namely the “Chairman” (Terence Stamp) of The Adjustment Bureau.

As a team of fate adjusters continue to keep the couple apart, Norris takes every step necessary to ensure his chances with Elise and eventually even the Chairmen realises that a “change of plans”, however unexpected, is better than tampering with destiny.

The Adjustment Bureau

I’ve never really been one for on-screen romances, often seeing them as a hindrance to a story’s plot, but with The Adjustment Bureau there is something between Damon and Blunt that just works. From their first meeting to the moment when Elise gets clued in what’s going on, their struggle is one that’s believable and endearing to watch. As they race around New York’s landmarks including the Statue of Liberty and eventually finding themselves on the rooftop of the Empire State Building, the scene harks back to classic Hollywood with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair To Remember (1957).

The Adjustment Bureau

The only flaw I found with The Adjustment Bureau was that its climax wasn’t pushed to its full potential. After such a great set up it just seemed to fall short by a few paces, but given that the film leaves you with so much think about it’s something I am more than happy to overlook.

Whether or not you’re a believer in fate, free will, determinism or God there’s something for everyone here; action, romance, beautiful cinematography and script that’s put to good use by it’s actors.


  • Audio Commentary
  • The Labyrinth of Doors: Interactive map of New York (21.59)
  • Leaping Through New York (7.34)
  • Becoming Elise (7.05)
  • Destined To Be (4.49)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (5.09)

There are some nice special features included on the disc. You will find six deleted and extended scenes along with a few interesting featurettes. Leaping Through New York takes us through some of the location shots used in the movie and Emily Blunt shares her insight on the character of Elise Sellas. All in all, I’d say you’re destined to have a good night in with this one!

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