The battle between divine determinism and free will takes mundane form in The Adjustment Bureau, the story (loosely inspired by a Philip K. Dick tale) of a hotshot young politician named David (Matt Damon) who, after meeting the apparent girl of his dreams in ballerina Elise (Emily Blunt), unwittingly walks in on a group of gentlemen in fedoras whose job is to tweak reality in order to keep people on their fated paths. George Nolfi’s paranoid film charts David’s efforts to be with Elise despite the preventive measures of Richardson (John Slattery) and his well-dressed henchmen, who are following a “plan” set out by a godly “Chairman” that stipulates that neither David nor Elise will achieve their lifelong goals if they remain together. The notion that love drains people of career/artistic motivations is the sole stimulating notion proffered by the script. Yet like so much of the narrative – from Damon’s political career being sabotaged by a published photo of his naked ass, to the sympathetic motives of adjuster Harry (Anthony Mackie) – that idea is painfully underdeveloped and eventually ignored in favor of chases through temporal-portal doorways. Damon and Blunt’s sparks during their initial men’s-room meet-cute sets a reasonably amorous framework for David’s quest to make his own destiny. Unfortunately, bigwig adjuster Thompson’s (Terrence Stamp) explanation of why his bureau’s services are necessary – apparently, mankind squanders every opportunity to properly rule itself – is thin gruel. And a third-act full of contrived plot twists reveals that the film’s chief interest isn’t plumbing philosophical questions of fate, providence and autonomy but, instead, wallowing in skimpy fairy-tale romanticism.