Adjusting to “The Adjustment Bureau”

First off: I have a man crush on Matt Damon.  Pretty much anything he acts in, I love.  So when Laura asked if I wanted to see “The Adjustment Bureau,” I was all ears. 🙂  The official trailer gives the basic synopsis of the point of the movie:

So yeah, it’s a Matt Damon movie about predestination and free will.  If you go into the movie expecting it to be a human interest story about finding true love, with some cool chase scenes and some suspenseful intrigue you will likely love it.  I sure did.  If instead you go into it for theological insight and to solve the problem of predestination and free will, you will be all frustrated and unfulfilled.  Then again, if you go to movies to solve those kinds of problems you’re almost certainly frustrated and unfulfilled anyway.

The Good:

I love Matt Damon.  He plays the role of the “loose cannon” politician very well. 

The plot in the movie was not so complicated that it can’t be followed.  There are a few twists and turns, but not so badly that we were left in the dark. 

In the beginning of the movie my Calvinist friends will love when one of the higher-up agents, Thompson, tells Damon’s character that free will is an illusion.  But then my Arminian friends will huzzah when they are told that Thompson was wrong.  Unfortunately Open Theists will cheer at the end of the movie. 

The love story about finding “the one” was compelling and intriguing.  It forces Damon’s character to choose between political greatness and true love, which is intriguing.  The funny part for Laura and I was how close the plot of this film came to our early lives.  I wanted to be the President of the United Stats, and she was well on her way to being a famous ballerina.  So a movie about fate in the lives of an up-and-coming politician and a professional ballerina, where their decision affects whether they will continue in their ambitions, was almost surreal to us.

The Bad:

Well the theology is all goofy.  The “god” of this movie ends up being a very pluralistic amorphous deity who bends to the will of the main characters.  And angels function more like “men in black” than divine messengers.  And the intersection of divine sovereignty and free will shifts around a lot in the movie and isn’t well-defined at any point.  (go read Kenneth Keathley’s “Salvation and Sovereignty” for an accessible explanation of my basic position)
Second, there is premarital sex.  It wasn’t a huge deal, but they did show them in bed.  How bad was it?  Not sure; when the scene started I hid my eyes and smooched with my wife until it was over.
The Conclusion:

I liked this movie a lot.  We enjoyed the story and the pacing was enough to keep us engaged.  It wasn’t a theological home run, but if you chew the meat and spit the bones you should be able to enjoy a great movie.

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