Sci-Fi / Action

Jumper

Distributed By: 20th Century Fox

Read about the soundtrack at http://www.g-pop.net/jumpersoundtrack.htm

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Have you ever wished you could go to a party, but realized that you would never get out of work on time to make it?  Have you ever had tickets to a baseball game style= but couldn’t go because of some other engagement?  What if you could go to both?  What if you could go to London style= in the morning, be in Mexico style= by 12PM, visit Japan style= by 1PM, check out Miami Beach style= around 2PM and still have time to take in that baseball game and go to the party between innings?  David Rice can do all that and more, for David is a Jumper and no place is beyond his reach.

            The movie Jumper style= is based on a science fiction novel series by Steven Gould.  When we first meet the movie’s main character, David Rice is a shy young man (Max Theriot) whose mother left him when he was five years old and whose father is an abusive alcoholic.  David has a crush on fellow student, Millie (AnnaSophia Robb), a pretty intelligent girl who dreams of travel and adventure.  A prank played on him by local bully Mark (Jesse James) unwittingly reveals to David that he has powers of teleportation.  Deciding to use this power to escape his life and begin anew, David moves to New York style= and promptly teleports into a bank style= to obtain enough money to sustain him in his new life.

            Fast forward at least a decade and we meet an older and much more self-assured David Rice, portrayed by Hayden Christensen (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Life as a House).  This David is living a life of luxury, teleporting himself at will, without a care in the world, until he catches the attention of Roland (Samuel L. Jackson), a member of the Paladins, a group of fanatics who believe that the power of teleportation is something that only God has the right to have.  Paladins kill Jumpers and David soon finds himself on the run from Roland and his merry band of Jumper exterminators. 

            Well, when you’re on the run and wondering where to go, sometimes you end up right back where you started – home.  Despite the fact that David is a hunted man, he still takes the time to check in on the love of his life, Millie (now portrayed by Rachel Bilson).  Time has been a mixed bag for Millie – she’s as beautiful as ever, but she has resigned herself to the idea that she will never live the life of adventure she yearned for.  When David arrives offering Millie a taste of the travel and adventure she had always dreamed of, she leaves her bartender job and heads off to Rome.  Little does she know that they are being tracked by Roland.  Enter Griffin (Jamie Bell), another Jumper who tracks and kills Paladins.  With his help, David might be able to give Roland a taste of his own medicine…or he just might lose the one person he has ever truly loved.

            As an action movie, Jumper is decent, but not extraordinary.  Did I enjoy myself?  Yes, I did have a good time in the movie and was often wowed by certain action scenes.  The camera angles and flashes involved in bringing teleportation scenes to life were very well-done and brought an air of excitement to each jump.  The fight scenes were incredible.  Samuel L. Jackson was terrific as the fanatical Roland.  Hayden Christensen was hot as David Rice, but as much as I liked his character, I found Jamie Bell’s Griffin to be a much more interesting character.  This is probably due to the fact that Christensen’s portrayal of David Rice isn’t much different than his portrayal of Anakin in Attack of the Clones.  Rachel Bilson does an admirable job as Millie, but let’s face it, there isn’t really much for her to do in this movie, considering that most of the action goes on somewhere near her but hardly involves her.  Without the added songs by The Fray, The Tragically Hip and The Charlatans, the musical score created for the movie by John Powell is rather bland, with the exception of the opening credits and the fight scenes.

            As a thinking individual who enjoys a decent plot to go along with her action flick, I found this movie’s plot to be somewhat like a wheel of Swiss cheese – full of holes.  There were way too many questions left unanswered.  For one thing – where did David’s powers come from?  The powers came to light in a life-threatening situation, but the characters in the movie suggest they were with him all along.  So were they passed down to him genetically?  Was he altered in some way through radiation?  How did Jumpers come to be?  Just as they start to give you some idea of Griffin’s history, they interrupt it and you never get to know how he started his Jumper adventures.

            And how did Paladins come to be?  What made these people decide that Jumpers had to die?  There was a scene that may have endeavored to explain their reasoning, but if you aren’t an observant movie-goer, you would probably miss it.  For those unobservant folks: David is an adult watching a news telecast rather dispassionately as they discuss a country devastated by flood waters.  The newscaster talks about the hardships encountered by rescue parties in getting to these people.  Now, if David weren’t corrupted somewhat by his powers, he might be inclined to teleport into this country and help teleport some of the victims to safety.  Instead, he plans an impromptu trip to London.  Yes, this behavior is callous and arrogant, but why wouldn’t Paladins seek to convince Jumpers to use their powers for the greater good rather than destroying them outright?

            Perhaps all of these questions and more will be answered in a sequel – yes, Jumper’s ending definitely lends itself to a sequel.  Seeing as though the movie is based upon the novel series, I’m certain that a sequel was definitely on the mind of the movie’s creation team.  Do I recommend this film?  Sure!  As action films go, the movie is fun and the visuals great.  But if you’re looking for a solid plot, look elsewhere.

 


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