When one thinks of romantic dramas, the works of Philip K. Dick do not normally come into mind. However this rather unique mix provides the basis of the story. Part political thriller, part science fiction and part love story.
For the first forty minutes we see our star Matt Damon running for political office and experiencing a sudden down-turn in popularity due to the revelation of an incident during his college days. During this time he bumps into Emily Blunt in a men’s room and the two have an instant attraction to one-another, however a group of shady men in hats seem determined to break these two apart.
Damon and Blunt prove to be an exceedingly likeable couple and succeed in holding the film together, and the concept also provides a decent amount of intrigue without relying heavily on guns and explosions (in fact I cannot recall a single gun being fired).
However it’s difficult to shake the somewhat contrived nature of the plot. The romance at times feels rushed and could have developed over a longer period of the film. Additionally the philosophical speeches about free will and the right to choose come off as hammy rather than compelling. This is partially due to the presence of Terrance Stamp, who can pull the “mysterious” man off so well that it almost comes off as a caricature.
Nonetheless, Bureau offers a refreshingly different take on a somewhat established genre.