>The Adjustment Bureau: Sci-Fi Thriller or Chick Flick?

>The commercials I’ve seen for The Adjustment Bureau all seem to show Matt Damon and Emily Blunt running at top speed away from someone. I’ve seen it billed as a sci-fi thriller in the vein of Inception. I haven’t actually seen Inception, but from what I heard it really kept you on the edge of your seat and left you somewhat confused about what was real and what was just a dream. I’m here to tell you that The Adjustment Bureau is NOTHING like that.

On Tuesday night I was provided with the opportunity to see an advanced screening of the new Matt Damon movie thanks to my being a crazy Twitter addict and having a pretty high Klout score. The invite was a Kloutperk, and I was very excited because I really love movies but I only get to see them about once every six months. Mike is not a big movie fan so going to the movies is not his first choice of date but The Adjustment Bureau looked like a guy movie from the trailer so he agreed we could get a sitter and go. It was nice getting the VIP treatment too, showing up and bypassing a huge line of people hoping to get in and being seated in a specially reserved row.

The tag line for the movie is “Do you believe in fate or free will?” which had me very curious given my bent for the theological study of Calvinism verses Armenian doctrines. So The Adjustment Bureau turned out to be almost exactly that, a discussion about whether or not all of human kind really makes their own choices or whether we are all just following some big plan written by a higher power. So yeah, the movie was in fact deeply theological. It was also extremely romantic, so much so that I’d classify it as a chick flick before I called it a thriller. An action movie it most definitely was not. There was a bit of suspense and plenty of mystery, but not enough for me to call it a real thriller. Yet I found it highly entertaining, if for no other reason than the lead characters are really nice to look at.

The most interesting part for me was the big philosophical question about fate or free will. Most people will instinctively believe that of course we have free will, we make our own choices all the time. I’m one of those on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, believing everything that happens is part of God’s plan. I wrestle with the details of that philosophy all the time but it is comforting when thing happen that beg the question, why? The Adjustment Bureau mostly just raises the question but provides a very shallow look at the possibilities and gives no satisfying answer. It’s not meant to be a movie that makes you think very hard, the theology is just a slightly provocative plot device.

The Adjustment Bureau is not going to win any Oscars and it’s not going to leave people talking about it for a long time afterward, but I think it has a little something for everyone to enjoy and I do think it’s worth two hours of your time for entertainment value. It opens in theaters everywhere tomorrow, March 4th.

So tell me in the comments, do you believe we have free will or that our lives are controlled by fate?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. >I think our free will controls our fate.

    Reply

  2. >Well then what about the sovereignty of God? Does He have no control?

    Reply

  3. >And here I was, ready to write this off as another too-loud, too-fast-moving action thriller. I like the philosophical intrique.

    Reply

  4. >I believe in a bit of a combination. I believe that God gave us free-will, to make our own mistakes, but that God knows what's in store for us, and gives us the tools to get where we need to be. Out of curiosity, wouldn't no free will/all God's plan mean that God had pre-destined some people to NOT be saved? I'm honestly curious what you think.

    Reply

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