The men of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ Versus the Observers of ‘Fringe’

18 Feb

One of the trailers that has been popping up a lot lately is for ‘The Adjustment Bureau’, an upcoming sci-fi action movie starring Matt ‘please come back to 30 Rock’ Damon and Emily ‘so cool but I wish I wasn’t distracted by your porcelain laminates when you’re in historical movies’ Blunt. The trailer looks pretty good, but I noticed one thing:

In the trailer, there is a group of men in impeccably tailored, slightly retro suits who have a knowledge of the future and can play with space and time in order to ‘correct’ what has been altered in the flow of fate, as seen in their bookish device which has complex symbols that aren’t in a language we can understand. Here are some of them:

via theaceshowbiz.com

Sound familiar?

On ‘Fringe,’ there are the Observers, a group of men in impeccably tailored, slightly retro suits who have a knowledge of the future and can play with space and time in order to ‘correct’ what has been altered in the flow of fate, as seen in their bookish device which has complex symbols that aren’t in a language we can understand. Here they are:

via blastr.com

Eeenteresting, no?

I’m not implying that ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ stole the idea from ‘Fringe’ – clearly the plots are very different, and a wee google tells me the movie is based on a Philip K. Dick short story. I’m just intrigued that the concept of fate versus free will would have manifested in such similar ways in two separate current pieces of pop culture – men in suits (although notably, the aesthetic of the Observers on Fringe is the 1960s, while the Adjustment Bureau is going more 1940s – you could make the argument that in doing so, Fringe is calling to mind the golden age of Sci Fi and space travel, and The Adjustment Bureau prefers to trigger the collective memory of an era that was dominated by war) who mostly observe everything, but have a clear plan for what should happen. Notably, in neither source do these men appear to be entirely sinister; rather, they are both determined to keep to their respective plans, and can be ruthless when necessary in order to do so.

So what could this be? Did the Government’s increasing desire to watchdog the internet after 9/11 trigger a general paranoia that all of our lives’ details are being controlled and monitored by emotionless men in suits? Did something spook us into worrying that the concept of free will is ultimately an illusion, and we’re all following some pre-determined plan? Did ‘Mad Men’ send us all into a collective desire to see the universe taken over by men in natty suits?

Something to ponder. And until we figure it out, I’m just putting it out there that the movie I would REALLY like to see features a giant rumble between the men of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ and the Observers of Fringe. Complete with snapping. Thank you.

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4 Responses to “The men of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ Versus the Observers of ‘Fringe’”

  1. Ricardo Pomalaza February 24, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    Seriously, it is just too eerily similar to the Observers for me to ignore the idea of it being just an episode of Fringe turned movie-style. In fact, I think they SHOULD make a Fringe movie and it would totally kick ass.

    • bloggledygook February 26, 2011 at 11:06 am #

      I totally agree – I think many episodes of Fringe are better written than many movies these days. And dang, whatever happens with Peter and that machine will be epic – I would pay $15 for it!

  2. K February 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    This is about a year late.

    I beg to differ. Fringe has taken several of Philip K. Dick’s writings and has put them into the series. For example, the Fringe episode titled “Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?” is a play on PKD’s story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” Now, I like Fringe, I think it has fallen a bit from its original storyline, but it’s still entertaining. However, several of the ideas from the show are based off of studies and concepts developed by Futurists. So it is no coincidence that the Observers are indeed based off of PKD’s Adjustment Team.

    • bloggledygook February 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

      Welcome to the blog!
      And I think you’re probably right. When I wrote this post, I hadn’t seen the Adjustment Bureau or been very familiar with Philip K. Dick – I still have much to go on the second part (wow, that guy’s a genius), but it seems much more intentional that they would have come from the same source.
      I still want to see a rumble, though.

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