Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Adjustment Bureau (5 Stars)

Today is only the second time I've watched "The Adjustment Bureau". I'm not sure why I've waited so long. Did I forget what a good film it is? Maybe the problem is that I don't like Matt Damon as an actor. I'm not saying he's a bad actor, it's just a personal antipathy that I have based on the way he looks. Doesn't it ever happen to you? You meet someone and you immediately like or dislike that person based on superficial details like their clothes or the shape of their nose. It's not a problem with Matt Damon, it's a problem with me. Sometimes I'm superficial, and rather than deny it I have to face up to it.

Having said that, I have to admit that Matt is the best person for the role of David Norris. He looks just like how I would expect a young Congressman to look, especially a Congressman planning to become a Senator and maybe even the President.

Matt Damon as President? We could do a lot worse.

The main reason why I decided to rewatch the film today is because my original review has become popular over the last few weeks. Today it's the second most popular post in my blog, based on the number of readers. I'm not sure why. It's taken my readers four years to discover this post, but I've just reread it myself and I have to agree that it's one of my best posts. That causes me problems today, because I don't think I can write anything better.

Please click here to read my first review. It sparked a short conversation with my friend Elizabeth. I wish other people had joined in, because the film deals with important questions about the nature of free will. These are questions primarily for those who believe in God, but it's also an interesting subject for atheists and freethinkers.

Rather than review the film today I'll just quote the speech on free will held by the sinister Mr. Thompson, as played by Terence Stamp, probably one of the best actors alive today.

"We actually tried free will before. After taking you from hunting and gathering to the height of the Roman Empire we stepped back to see how you'd do on your own. You gave us the Dark Ages for five centuries, until finally we decided we should come back in. The Chairman thought that maybe we just needed to do a better job with teaching you how to ride a bike before taking the training wheels off again. So we gave you the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution. For six hundred years we taught you to control your impulses with reason, then in 1910 we stepped back again. Within fifty years you'd brought us World War I, the Depression, Fascism, the Holocaust and capped it off by bringing the entire planet to the brink of destruction in the Cuban Missile Crisis. At that point a decision was taken to step back in again before you did something that even we couldn't fix. You don't have free will, you have the appearance of free will".

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