|We're what you call 'Angels', folks. (image © entertainmentwallpaper.com, 2011)|
Writer-Director George Nolfi’s 2011 film The Adjustment Bureau promised big things in its advertisements. Statements like “If you believe in free will…” pounded on screen while images of Matt Damon and Emily Blunt running from some seeming MIB agents flashed by.
So how does The Adjustment Bureau treat what it calls free will, and what it calls fate?
What The Adjustment Bureau insists on calling “destiny” is really just coercion. It’s more like “Hey buddy, if you don’t listen to what the Big Fella (God) says, then he’s gonna break yours and all your cousins’ legs (annihilate you)”. Real destiny would mean David never even had the opportunity to make a choice different from the plan; in fact, it would be logically impossible for him to break from his destiny at all, since he would just be a mindless chess piece moved entirely at God’s will.
Therefore, although The Adjustment Bureau makes interesting, literary, quasi-stimulating attempts at discussing and breaking through the free will vs. fate argument, it’s mostly just lazy and illogical in how it treats the dilemma; thus, its fundamental premise is flawed. And as such, the movie itself is fundamentally, inescapably flawed.