Review of “Jumper” (2008) PG-13 90min
March 20th, 2008 by Maxim · 1 Comment · 4,888 Views
The plot: David Rice (Hayden Christinsen, earlier Max Thieriot) discovers that he has a power to teleport himself anywhere on Earth. After having some fun with his power, he realises he can use it to escape his dysfunctional family and even teleport himself into vaults of several banks. Pretty soon, however, he finds out that he is not the only one with this power when he meets a fellow Jumper Griffin (Jamie Bell), and that there are people out there called Paladins who are on a religious mission to kill Jumpers (”Only God should be able to be everywhere at once”). For 8 years David was able to evade police and stole heaps of money from banks, but his blissful life could not have lasted forever: Paladins are onto him. The stakes for him become really high when his father is killed and high-school crush Millie (Rachel Bilson) is also in danger as long as she’s around him.
The good: the movie is mostly true to the book and is nicely paced. Samuel L. Jackson as Paladin named Roland with his hair died white is very effective in the action role. Jamie Bell (Billy Elliott, Flags of Out Fathers, King Kong) is also a pleasure to watch in every movie he is in. Michael Rooker also had a short role as David’s father, but he definitely had a prominent presence on the screen.
The bad: Remember Hayden Christinsen as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars episode II? Remember him in Virgin Suicides? He does have descent performances in movies from time to time, particularly in Life As A House. But this is an action movie, not a drama, so the bar for acting is lowered. Diana Lane is a great actress, one of my most favorite, but she had a very short role in this movie; she also shows some [unpleasant and creepy] signs of aging. p.s. The sequel, Jumper 2, is scheduled for 2011. Oh, and one of the places David teleported to was Chechnya.
The summary: having seen “The Covenant” just yesterday, I found a lot of similarities between Jumper and that horrible movie, but I was overall pleased. In The Covenant the warlocks used their magic to move stuff around, lift girl’s skirts and instead of hitting each other with fists they use magic Harry Potter-style. In the Jumper the main character and his friend use their power to have some fun – because they are young. One of them goes bad and starts killing Paladins, the other just wants to be left alone and “coexist”. So, with minor details, this movie is similar to all the supermen/invisible men movies: a superman, a girl in danger, a villain, a chase, the ultimate battle. This movie could have just been released straight onto DVD or TV’s Sci-Fi channel (Disney channel would not play it because they actually said the F-word once or twice). Entertaining.
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