Dave's Rating:

2.5

Inception for Dummies.

Who's In It: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Anthony Mackie, John Slattery

The Basics: Political candidate Matt Damon is in love with dancer Emily Blunt but some guys in magical Mad Men hats are trying to stop them. It turns out that the members of the hat brigade are "Adjustment Bureau" employees (aka angels, and they call God "The Chairman," but with the way they dress you'd be forgiven for thinking they were talking about the ghost of Frank Sinatra). They're responsible for controlling everyone's every move and, if Matt and Emily hook up for the love of a lifetime, the future of the world may be in jeopardy. They are that important and their feelings are that earth-moving. So there's a lot of hot pursuit through time and space to make sure they stay unhappy.

What's The Deal: Imagine if that garbagey John Cusack/Kate Beckinsale rom-com Serendipity had been served up with better outfits and cooler, lightly paranoid Inception sprinkles. It would have felt so much less stupid and more like the sci-fi episode of The Love Boat it really wanted to be. And then this movie might never have been made, a fate that would have been directly in keeping with its themes of choice, chance and predetermined paths. Anyway, the point is that you've seen this sort of thing before, all the way back to It's A Wonderful Life, even if its fake-serious energy and matte finish will temporarily and entertainingly trick you into thinking otherwise.

Why The Title Is Accurate: Because it feels like an entire roomful of men in suits is sitting at the controls and fighting to adjust the tone. It's a thriller, then it's a comedy, then it's a dark Kafka-esque dream, then it's a slapstick accident-fest, then it's O-faced and romantic, then it's goofy for no apparent reason, then they throw alternate universe rules at you about the old-school hats and how water makes them lose their powers, and then it's a chase movie and then they decide to wrap it up tight and neat for no reason that has even been hinted at once for the entire running time up to that point. The bright side to this sort of indecision is that it's constantly surprising and never dull. You have no idea what they're going to do next. The downside is that it's all meaningless.

To Be Avoided If: You actually like the dark, nightmarish qualities of real Philip K. Dick stories. This is based on one of them, but don't go in expecting anything remotely approaching his sense of menace or his willingness to ditch your desires for a happily resolved ending. You are now free to invent your own Dick-related puns.

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Comments (7)

hilo - 3-17-2011 6:38 AM
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i think that they both can do a way better job. great actors but not the best movie for them,

Linda - 3-20-2011 6:17 PM
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I agree - an adjustment on my ticket

Rob - 3-28-2011 11:33 AM
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cheesefest! secret doors throughout Manhattan, hats with special powers, Matt and Emily great but otherwise really bad supporting acting..where do i get my refund?

jaime - 6-26-2011 1:57 PM
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I enjoyed the movie. Not Damon's best but it was decent romantic movie.

Brady - 6-30-2011 3:25 AM
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It's rare for me to stay completely invested in a movie these days but I was for this one. The movie was not strong enough for it to be the best role for the actors but there was nothing wrong with their performances. They played the parts well and I believed what they were saying. It kept me guessing and for once I couldn't predict what they were going to do for the most part. It isn't going to be ground breaking or a sweeper for awards but It was extremely enjoyable and I would suggest this to everyone. Don't watch this movie with a closed mind or go into it expecting it to be a mind blower. Just keep your eyes open for subtle hints and clues that will help connect the dots and make it seem less random. 8/10

Edivaldo - 7-19-2011 6:46 PM
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I think this movie is great, one of the bests this year...4.5/5

Neil - 8-06-2011 2:51 AM
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I don't know what planet the reviewer is from - I hope he didn't get paid for writing that! This was at no point a comedy or accident fest, no goofy. You should actually watch the movie before you review it. It was a fantastic flick that had something in it for those you like suspense, some action and romance. Not very inception-like, but good chemistry between the characters and a very unique plot.

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