Jumper Movie Review

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Jumper Movie Review

Jumper: Sci-fi adventure. Starring Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Michael Rooker, Diane Lane. Directed by Doug Liman. (PG-13. 88 minutes.)

As a travelogue, "Jumper" isn't half bad, with lots of juicy images of Rome, Tokyo, New York and other splendid places. But we're supposed to be watching a sci-fi action film, and that's where things go south.

The premise is based on a universal childhood escape fantasy: What if you could instantly transport yourself anywhere? That's just what our hero, David Rice (Hayden Christensen) wants to do, since he's having a tough time growing up in Ann Arbor, Mich. Bullied at school, he's being raised by a jerky dad (Michael Rooker). His mom (Diane Lane) abandoned the family when he was 5. One bad day, when the boy's life is in jeopardy, he discovers that he can wish himself to a safe place.

Cut to the future. As a young man, David is living royally in New York, inhabiting a jaw-dropping apartment with all the finest gadgets - money's no object, since he can zap himself into bank vaults and take as much as he wants. On the same day he can have lunch in Egypt atop the Sphinx, then transport himself, say, to Rome for dinner, then go clubbing in London. He travels via mysterious shimmering portals, and can even take things with him.

He's also selfish and smug - except when it comes to the lost love of his youth, Millie (Rachel Bilson of TV's "The O.C."). Seeking to renew her acquaintance, David finds her still in Michigan, tending bar.

So what could possibly go wrong? Well (and I'll try to minimize the spoilers), it turns out that David is not alone in his special powers - he encounters a roughneck young Englishman, Griffin (Jamie Bell), who is also a "jumper." Then there's an anti-jumper fanatic, Roland (Samuel L. Jackson with his hair dyed white).

Circumstances force David and Griffin to become partners, and Millie is caught up in a dangerous showdown. Despite their unique power, the jumpers have a weakness that their enemies exploit.

There are action sequences set in the Roman Colosseum because, well, it's a great-looking place. Director Doug Liman ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith") obviously has a taste for globe-trotting, having directed "The Bourne Identity" and executive-produced its two sequels. Thus, David winds up standing on the clock face of Big Ben in London and popping up in other memorable spots too.

During the film's slower moments, you can always pass the time by counting the plot holes, which are legion.

Christensen was no doubt tapped for the role to pull in "Star Wars" fans - he played Anakin Skywalker in "Episode II" and "Episode III" - and this comic book material isn't much of a test of whatever talent he may possess. In fact, the part was first offered to Eminem, who turned it down. Christensen was a last-minute replacement for Tom Sturridge, who was let go two weeks before filming was to begin.

Bilson is OK, Bell is fun to watch and Jackson has done this sort of role many times before. I like Rooker and Lane, and wish they'd had more screen time here.

The ending, by the way, is clearly intended to set up a sequel. Pretty optimistic, if you ask me.

-- Advisory: Intense action violence, language and some brief sexuality.

Source : SFGate.com

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Pat R said...

The filming style of Jumper made me feel like i myself was jumping around... very cool. Christensen didn't do too bad either

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