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Overall Rating
2.49

Awesome: 1.49%
Worth A Look: 23.88%
Average: 22.39%
Pretty Bad26.87%
Total Crap: 25.37%

8 reviews, 19 user ratings



Jumper
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by W. Scott Gordon

"“Jumper” is all about human teleportation…too bad it doesn’t take us anywhe"
2 stars

David Rice, an ordinary kid (played first by Max Thieriot, then later by Hayden Christensen) discovers he’s not so ordinary when, just before nearly drowning in an icy river, he teleports himself to the local library. We see a poster depicting a hunkering child reading, offering the phrase “Escape to the library.” This is a cute (if obvious) setup: Where will David Rice’s newfound powers lead him? The answer, unfortunately, is “Nowhere special.”

Despite a promising teaser featuring David in a lounge chair atop the Sphinx in Egypt before the opening credits, “Jumper” turns a potentially compelling premise into a scene-by-scene cliché. David is the product of a deadbeat dad and a mother (Diane Lane, what the…?) who left long ago, so upon discovering his ability he does the only sensible thing: he leaves home and…yawn…robs a bank. “I was only 15,” Christensen’s disinterested narration intones, “What would you have done?” Indeed. Now free as a time-and-space-bending bird and armed with endless moola, David does the second thing anybody gifted with such powers would do: He takes an 8-year world tour that plays more like a collection of travel vignettes than the plot of a high-concept action picture. See David’s fancy-shmancy New York penthouse. Click. Now see him standing on (yes, “on” not “at”) Big Ben. Click. See him surfing in Fiji. Click. See him not saving people he should. Click. See him gazing out the window after another meaningless globe-trotting fling. Click. You get the idea. He is apparently no worldlier than when he left, however, as he then returns to his Michigan hometown to track down his high school crush (Anna Sophia Robb, Rachel Bilson). Naturally, this is where the trouble begins.

You see, there is a man named Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) who has been searching for David ever since his first bank robbery all those years ago. We learn that he is part of an ancient organization that searches for so-called “Jumpers” like David and assassinates them, because teleporting around and doing what you want is against God’s will…or something. Sorry, did I nod off again? Anyway, the girl becomes the catalyst for the rest of the movie, which is basically an hour-long chase scene. Jackson, with his unexpected shock of crew-cutted white hair and typical quiet menace, is as usual fun to watch; too bad that he’s armed with nothing worse than a futuristic tazer.

David is clued into Roland’s origins by another young fella, Griffin (Jamie Bell), who is also a Jumper but has traded a life of hedonism for the single goal of killing Roland and others who chase him. He’s the more experienced Jumper, able to take big objects (even cars) with him as he teleports. It goes without saying that he and David mount an uneasy team effort, but at least the filmmakers avoid the horribly obvious “evil jumper” syndrome or the even more hideous “Paduwan” relationship (sorry, I had to use that word—this is a Christianson vehicle, after all). Speaking of Christensen, I’ve yet to see him do anything remotely interesting. He’s handsome enough, but there’s something…NOT…in the eyes. I think all the acting must have been completely CGI’ed out of him yet again. Bell’s Griffin is a far more engaging protagonist, and it would have been at least amusing to see him go toe-to-toe with Jackson’s badass assassin.

Apparently filming actually took place in many of the featured countries, and I can say with sincerity that the locations are nice to look at. Particularly intriguing to me were the shots around Shibuya Station’s famous “scramble crossing” in Tokyo. As I’m living less than an hour from Shibuya and have crossed that street countless times, I can tell you with certainty that that’s the real deal—pretty cool! I’m less certain about the scene when they first find themselves in a Tokyo ramen shop where two cooks are fighting—the “Japanese” in this scene are definitely Asianesque, but with their shrill and badly-dubbed Japanese they seem stereotypes tailor-made for Western audiences. None of that matters anyway, as the whole affair is silly to begin with. Slap-dash special effects mirror hurried plotting and half-baked ideas: No room for philosophy here. At one point Roland asks David pointedly, “Do you think you can continue to do this [teleport] without consequences?” I was wondering the same thing—in a different, more thoughtful movie, the limitless-genie-in-a-bottle concept might have been explored. As it is, the scope of “Jumper’s” vision is as limited as David himself.

In the end he learns nothing, save that he can still get the girl after lying to her and putting her in mortal danger. And we the audience thought we were going around the world, but we actually never left our seats. Personally, I’d rather escape to the library.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=16844&reviewer=406
originally posted: 11/16/08 05:28:42
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User Comments

3/13/17 morris campbell thin plot he justs jumps from place 2 place 2 stars
9/15/11 Mepp Like a couple of the reviewers I thought this was good fun, filled in the blanks myself 4 stars
1/08/09 Peter North no boner salute. great concept, but terrible acting & horrible story line 1 stars
12/29/08 Bean Very enjoyable. I don't get why there's so much hate on this. 4 stars
12/06/08 Jared Robb Entertaining, if nothing else. Just fall away from reality for a while and enjoy! 3 stars
10/17/08 daveyt jamie bell, sort that accent out! I thought chris waddle's was bad! 2 stars
8/19/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was Awesome!! Loved It. 5 stars
7/09/08 Totir Alexandru I expected more from this movie. It didn't quite matched the attention before the release 3 stars
6/30/08 mike really stupid movie. it could have been so much better. 1 stars
6/29/08 E. Leo Green Unbearable! 1 stars
6/15/08 g. junker 2 stars
6/05/08 Jayson Pretentious crap. 2 stars
3/07/08 David Graham why all the negatives? 4 stars
3/05/08 Renee Griffin I thought this movie was really good, jumping as much as they did I did almost get dizzy, 4 stars
3/03/08 Nicholas Plowman Average, boring, over done, cliched, but great to see with friends! 2 stars
2/21/08 ralf fun popcorn movie, but tons of missed chances to make a great one 3 stars
2/20/08 M Had so much potential! 1 stars
2/18/08 blyskalp Not to good 2 stars
2/15/08 Noexit worst review ever 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  14-Feb-2008 (PG-13)
  DVD: 10-Jun-2008

UK
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Australia
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