Director: Doug Liman
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Samuel L Jackson, Rachel Bilson, Diane Lane, Michael Rooker
You know, I had originally planned to watch Elizabeth: The Golden Age today, but changed my mind and decided to go for Jumper. I think maybe I shouldn't have. The former would have been a better choice.
Jumper revolves around David Rice, a young man who at age 15, discovers he can teleport himself anywhere he wants. So what does he do when he learns of his new gift? He robs the bank. He gathers lots and lots of cash, travels all around the world and lives the life his father could never give him.
One day however, his envious lifestyle is threatened by the presence of Roland, a man who is bent on hunting people like David, nicknamed 'jumpers'. Roland, armed with a baton that emits electrical volts, gives David a good beating before the kid barely escapes with his life. Soon, he realises that everything he holds dear, from his life to his childhood girlfriend Millie, is in dire straits. David learns more about Roland and his gang, the Paladins, from another jumper called Griffin. Griffin, a more experienced jumper, has been at war with Paladins for years, and though he agrees to help David, isn't very sympathetic with his plight.
Directed by Doug Liman, who gave us the thrilling The Bourne Identity and the overrated Mr & Mrs Smith, Jumper is a potentially interesting sci-fi film, but fails to live up to it. Pity, since it was written by writing heavyweights David S Goyer (Blade), Jim Uhls (Fight Club) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men 3). The film boasts great special effects, making the fight scenes between the jumpers and the Paladins very fast paced and thrilling. However, the plot and dialogue is a major letdown.
For example, when David asks Roland why he is hunting him, Roland replies "Only God should have this power." Of course, it's a very basic attempt to show humans' hatred for people who are different, but that line sounds like it came from the 1500s! And the lines they feed poor Christensen has only slightly improved from the ones George Lucas gave him in Star Wars, thereby making his acting once again less convincing. Jackson has no problems making his presence felt as Roland, but it is Jamie Bell that steals the show as the smart mouthed Griffin.
The filmmakers should have given us more insight into the history between the jumpers and the Paladins, as the stuff they reveal here barely scratch the surface. No explanation is given as to how jumpers got their powers, or how the Paladins came about, or what else motivates them in hunting jumpers. There is also a subplot involving David's mother, played by Diane Lane, but it's also not thoroughly explored. That's why the film lasted only 90 minutes, a waste of screentime for sure.
If all this film wants to do is leave us wanting more so that it warrants a sequel, then they're off to a bad start. Jumper is fun in parts, but not good enough as a whole. (3/5)