Jumper

Based off the novel by Steven Gould, Jumper is directed by Doug Liman and adapted for the screen by David Goyer, Jim Uhls and Simon Kinberg. It tells the tale of a young man who discovers he has the ability to teleport anywhere in the world with only a thought, and the ancient society that has hunted those like him for centuries.

David Rice (Hayden Christiansen) discovers at a young age that he has some sort of genetic anamoly which allows him to teleport anywhere in the world. Irresponsibly, he uses his abilities to rob banks and live the high life style in a New York penthouse, which attracts the attention of a secret society, called Paladins, which have been hunting down Jumpers for centuries. He returns to his hometown in Michigan, and unwittingly drags his childhood crush, Millie (Rachel Bilson), into the mix and is approached by another Jumper, calling himself Griffin (Jamie Bell), who has been waging his own war against the Paladins for years.

Often told by frustratingly bad narration by Christiansen, Jumper is another example of movie that just aimed way too low. The premise is sound, and should’ve made for a much grander and more excting movie than it actually is. The special effects are nifty, but even those get used to an excessive degree as the movie rolls on and the “jumps” become much more frequent. Perhaps the movie’s main failing is the numerous loose ends and unexplained plot twists. Also, the movie’s central plot, Sam Jackson hunting Hayden Christiansen down, begins so quickly in the movie, that the film ultimately becomes your standard “run and hide” movie until it becomes the even more cliche “time to save the girl” movie in the end.

The three young stars all seem over there heads in the movie. Jaime Bell was awful and outacted by everyone in 2005’s King Kong and he just comes off as a mumbling bafoon in this movie. Rachel Bilson did a remarkably good job in The Last Kiss, but just seemed to play the sexy damsel in distress in this one, and had no character depth what-so-ever. Then there’s Hayden Christensen, who many people ceaselessly attacked for his performance as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels. As a Star Wars fan, I actually liked what he did in those films, but he comes off as dry and confused in this movie.

Sam Jackson is about the only redeemable thing in the movie, even if he does look ridiculous with the white hair, but regardless adds much needed depth to an otherwise poorly acted film. But alas, not even the great Sam Jackson can save an otherwise dull sci-fi wannabee, that obviously banked on its young hearttrobs and dazzling effects being able to mask a poorly crafted, poorly written and poorly executed flop. In short…it didn’t.

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