Jumper


Directed by: Doug Liman
Written by:David S. Goyer, Jim Uhls, Simon Kinberg
Starring: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rooker
Released: February 14, 2008
Grade: B+

I like the idea behind this film.  David Rice (Christensen) is a “Jumper”.  From a young age, he’s realised that he can teleport to anywhere on the planet.  He just thinks about where he wants to go and he’s there in an instant.  Pretty cool, huh?  It certainly saves on travel costs.

He may have a tremendous gift but he seems to have very few friends.  He lives alone and doesn’t let anyone know of his power.  I guess he doesn’t want to attract any attention to himself – it’d kind of be hard to explain.

What’s interesting about David is that he’s not what I expected.  He doesn’t use his ability to save people and improve the world.  There’s a scene where he’s watching a natural disaster unfold on his television.  I was waiting for him to teleport to the scene and rescue a bunch of people.  Instead, he just sits on the couch.

If you’re catching my drift, you’ll see that David is rather selfish.  He’s always got plenty of money and isn’t afraid to flash it around.  You see, it’s pretty easy to rob a bank when you can teleport directly into the locked safe.

David’s easy-going life is about to come to an abrupt halt.  The Paladins are a secret organisation who have made it their mission to identify and kill Jumpers.  They believe that Jumpers are freaks of nature and will eventually destroy the world.  A leading Paladin named Roland (Jackson) has identified David Rice as a Jumper and is closing in on his target.

Drawn into the battle are David’s father (Rooker) and girlfriend (Bilson).  Jumpers are very difficult to catch (as you’d expect) and Roland plans to use them as bait.  As events unfold, David realises he isn’t the only Jumper on the planet.  He will team up with a Jumper named Griffin (Bell) in the fight against the Paladins.

It’s a shame this film is only 88 minutes long.  There are a lot of subplots and I think some of them are underdeveloped.  I’d like to have known a lot more about the history of the Jumpers and the Paladins.  How many of them are there?  How have they gone undetected from the general public for so long?  I also wanted to know more about David’s mother (played by Diane Lane) and his upbringing.  I’d easily pay to see a sequel.

I have a lot of respect for director Doug Liman as a director.  His films usually involve a young cast and are fun to watch.  Liman’s credits include Go, The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith Jumper is an easy film to watch and an easy film to follow.  I particularly liked the special effects in relation to the “jumping”.  The camera shudders and there’s a whooshing-type noise.  By the end of the film, it was happening that often that I almost believed it was real.

Whilst it’s well made and stylish, Jumper isn’t without its flaws.  I do not rate Hayden Christensen (Shattered Glass) as an actor.  He speaks too slowly and every word out of his mouth feels rehearsed.  In contrast, co-stars Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes On A Plane) and Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) are terrific.  I liked Jackson’s intensity and Bell’s spontaneity.

There are a few plot holes.  I don’t know why the general public don’t freak out when people start disappearing in front of their very eyes.  I don’t know how David can sit and have lunch on top of the Sphinx in Egypt and not get noticed.  A tighter script would have won Jumper a few more positive comments but as it is, it’s still worth recommending.