Jumper, starring Hayden Christensen and directed by Doug Liman has just be released on DVD.
Based on the best-selling, science fiction novel by Steven Gould, Jumper follows the life of David Rice who, in his teens, discovers he can teleport himself almost anywhere in the world.
Being a rebellious young fellow, he steals large sums of money from banks with impunity to fund his lavish lifestyle.
He even gets to take his beautiful girlfriend (Rachel Bilson) to Rome on a romantic getaway, but to keep his paranormal secret safe, poor David has to fly commercial.
All his well in David's life, until an evil Samuel L Jackson turns up claiming to know who and what David is… …pity the filmmakers never let us in on the secret.
For the duration of this silly film, we are kept in the dark as to how and where David got his powers and why on earth he has them.
The woeful screenplay unfolds with no plot and stupid characters in unbelievable and confusing situations.
Hayden Christianson confirms his status as a truly uninspiring and average actor and Samuel L Jackson's ridiculous white wig gave his acting no chance at all.
I find it astonishing that after directing the brilliant thrillers The Bourne Identity and Mr and Mrs Smith, director Doug Liman is responsible for such a below average film experience.
Unfortunately for the majority of people, Jumper will disappoint 1/2 a star.
[Movie Show Review]
As a teenager, the prank of a schoolyard bully sends David Rice plunging to an icy end until he is miraculously saved by a sudden ability to jump through the time space continuum. Being a geeky lad, he lands in the local library. Being a smart lad, he takes the opportunity to ditch his abusive dad and amass a fortune by jumping in and out of bank vaults. Cut to eight years later and David, now played by Hayden Christensen, has left his awkward teens behind and is living the high life, jumping from one exotic locale to the next and in and out of the beds of beautiful women.
So far, so cool ….
Who wouldn't relish the ability to teleport to The Sphinx for a spot of sunbathing, or to Fiji to catch the perfect wave? But then who wouldn't wonder how they came to be blessed (or mutated) with this ability and if other “Jumpers” exist? Not David. And clearly not director Doug Liman; even though the film is based on a novel by Steven Gould, which no doubt contains such relevant information. You'd think Liman would have learned from his hit The Bourne Identity that people who don't know where they come from and have extraordinary abilities are pretty curious about their origin. Especially if they are pursued by people who want to kill them.
In this case, David is pursued by Roland (Samuel L Jackson) and his distracting platinum hairdo. Their first encounter results in David's second near-death experience and leads him back home to his teenage crush, Millie (Rachel Bilson), who he whisks away to Rome for a tour of The Coliseum. There he meets another Jumper, Griffin (Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell), who finally gives us some back story. Griffin explains that Roland is the leader of the Paladins, a crazy bunch of fanatics whose mission is to wipe out the Jumpers. Apparently Jumpers “all go bad” but we see very little evidence. Set aside robbing banks, David's only crime is using his powers for hedonism rather than anything useful and Griffin is more a rebel with a strong sense of self-preservation than bad guy. This makes our hero's journey more like a routine domestic thriller than an epic sci-fi adventure. David is no Luke Skywalker – his only mission is to save the girl and himself.
Christensen is a little too brooding for his hedonist character but he is a finer actor than this role allows. We've seen Jackson's badass avenger before and Bilson's doe-eyed girl-in-peril is standard Hollywood issue, which is a shame given Liman usually does good female characters as evidenced by Bourne's Franka Potente and Mr and Mrs Smith's Angelina Jolie. Jamie Bell's hyperactive Griffin is the only character that distracts us from the hyperkinetic action and draws us into the very slim story.
Ultimately, all we are left with are impressive special effects and the cynical knowledge that we are being set up for a sequel that this average movie does not deserve.