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Jumper

2008 science fiction / action film directed by Doug Liman.

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Take Me Away from This Place

  • Jan 3, 2009
Rating:
+2

From director Doug Liman (Go and The Bourne Identity) comes the sci-fi/action film Jumper. The film, which is very, very loosely based upon the novel by Steven Gould, features some intriguing ideas, but suffers from poor execution.

The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer, Jim Uhls, and Simon Kinberg, and attempts to transplant the characters and concepts from the book into a more adult world. Where the film fails is that from the beginning it wants is viewers to buy  into the overly predictable and formulaic plot, which the filmmakers don't seem to realize will be all too obvious to audiences, and the film comes off as being pretentious and condescending as a result.

Hayden Christensen 

 

The story follows David Rice, a social outcast, as he learns that he has the extraordinary ability to teleport himself anywhere in the world. At a young age he learns that he can use teleportation as a way of avoiding responsibility and escaping situations that make him feel vulnerable. He also becomes aware that he need never earn a real living through hard work, instead he robs banks by teleporting into their vaults. But when a cult of religious fanatics, devoted to the elimination of all teleports or "jumpers", targets David for assassination, he is forced to go on the run. He reunites with his former high school crush, Millie and offers to take her to Rome, which had always been her dream. However, David soon sees that his troubles have followed him and Millie's life is jeopardized. Reluctantly teaming up with a rebellious fellow "jumper" named Griffin, David sets out to save Millie and confront his new enemies. Yet he has no idea of what's at stake or who he will be forced to lose.

 


Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen 

Despite the mixed reviews from critics, Jumper was a commercial success and this isn't entirely surprising. Besides being based upon a popular young adults' novel, the film also had the appeal of its attractive young cast. The film stars Hayden Christensen as David Rice, Jamie Bell as Griffin, Rachel Bilson as Millie, and Samuel L. Jackson as Roland. Though Hayden Christensen and Jamie Bell give fine performances, Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the white-haired assassin Roland, is hindered by his ridiculous appearance and the two-dimensional nature of his role. The cast also includes Max Thieriot, Anna Sophia Robb, and Diane Lane. But don't expect to see much of Diane Lane. Her character barely has five minutes of screen time and the only real reason for her presence in the film at all is to build up anticipation for her return in the inevitable sequel.


Samuel L. Jackson 

This brings me to what may be the film's greatest flaw. Director Doug Liman, the writers, and the producers had intended this to be the first film in a proposed trilogy, so they focused most of their attention on creating a built-in audience for parts two and three. While they attempt to dazzle viewers with special effects, action, and an all-star cast, they neglect an important component of serialized storytelling: namely, likeable (or at least believable) characters. The character of David Rice is an obnoxiously selfish and arrogant person, who is completely oblivious to the consequences of his actions and the way they affect the people in his proximity. Roland, who is meant to be the film's main villain, is nothing more than a self-righteous religious fanatic and he lacks any psychological depth or real motivation. The character of Millie, who is the film's most sympathetic figure, often just seems obtuse for not realizing what's going on around her.

Jamie Bell 

Ultimately, Jumper is a visually exhilarating film without an emotional core. While I'm sure that the film's Box Office returns will guarantee at least one sequel, I won't be "jumping" into theatres to see it.

DVD 

The DVD features include both full-screen and widescreen versions of the film, an audio commentary by Doug Liman, Simon Kinberg, and Lucas Foster, "Jumping from Novel to Film: The Past, Present, and Future of Jumper" featurette, "Making an Actor Jump" featurette, "Previz: Future Concepts" sequence, and trailers.

DVD Poster Hayden Christensen Jamie Bell Samuel L. Jackson Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen

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July 30, 2010
This was supposed to be a trilogy? Ugh. It took every ounce of willpower I had just to not leave the theater midway.
July 30, 2010
I just hope that the sequels never get made.
 
July 15, 2010
Yeah man you said with this review, the film just lacked about everything except nice visuals.
July 15, 2010
This one was just dull and not at all engaging for me. It had an interesting concept at its core, but the characters were just too shallow and annoying for me to really care about them or their story.
 
January 09, 2009
Great review...I just saw this and agree with your overall criticism. I also had a hard time understanding Samuel Jackson's character. It did not make sense that these cultists were out there looking to murder the jumpers. I was expecting more since Liman's Go, Bourne Identity and Swingers were so great. Though Mr and Mrs Smith was pretty weak.
 
January 08, 2009
Thanks, Rache. That's good to know.
 
January 07, 2009
This was just pure popcorn mindless fun! Not bad entirely but a lot of the plans didn't make it to the film...
 
January 05, 2009
Its really a shame we aren't given a chance to rate both the review and the film here. My automatic response was to go towards the negative numbers since the film was such a disaster. Fortunately I remembered exactly what it was I was supposed to be grading here and stopped in time. Close call!
 
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More Jumper reviews
Quick Tip by . July 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
That kid that played Darth Vader is such a horrible actor, and Samuel Jackson has proven over the last 15 years he has no depth as an actor and pretty much just plays character after character that thinks he's the coolest thing to walk the planet.
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