“Jumper” Revs but Sputters

Genres: Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Adaptation and Teen
Running Time:
1 hr. 30 min.
Release Date:
February 14th, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some language and brief sexuality.
20th Century Fox Distribution

Directed by: Doug Liman

JJ Rating: B

David (Hayden Christensen) finds out he can ‘jump’ from location to location. Because he can teleport he is called a Jumper and because he is a Jumper he is hunted by those that believe such a power should only be welded by God. Jumper.

That essentially sounds better than the movie itself. What they spent too much time on in this movie was the Rome part where David vacations with his love interest Millie (Rachel Bilson). They could have created a montage and dealt with it that way and move on to the action that the movie should have been primarily about than tugging on heart strings of moviegoers who were not forewarned by the trailer that such tugging would occur. What I expected was action and I got that, but I didn’t get enough. I only got the bare minimum and that just barely cuts it.

The CGI needed more work in certain areas. I do not like visually seeing how the actor was cut and pasted into the scene. That’s sort of distracting and, let’s faces it, annoying. But, oddly enough, the jumping effect was awesome; more on that later.

I’ll start with the story. I think the story was compelling via the idea. It could have given a bit more on the reason for the jumpers and less on the love aspect. I understand that a love interest is important for some stories, but it’s important, more so, that this story deals with the action.

Jumper is solely an action movie—well it should have been. Romance could play a part but it was marketed as an action movie, so show more action. Thanks. Oh and it’s an adaptation. I have not read the book but if you’re interested in the differences, which are many, go here: Jumper Wikipedia Page.If you do not care to have the movie spoiled don’t read the differences or anything in that link.

The story is engaging but leaves much to be desired. There’s a lot of showing but not enough telling or explanation so it is just watch what we can do and what we are to do with that power but we won’t tell you why we have it, where it comes from, or why the hell we are being hunted and hated. That’s why I was willing to ignore not being told if the action was high and given more center stage, but it was not.

Acting wise how was it? Christensen is alright. Nothing astounding from him, slightly not shocking considering his past movies so nothing to report. I’ve seen Rachel Bilson on The O.C. so I have something to compare and she does a good job, I believe. Her character is amusing and has a sense of calm that flirts with agitation over certain situations. Samuel L. Jackson plays Agent Roland and he, just as always, is cool. The white hair makes him even cooler, if that is possible. He’s right on par. Jamie Bell plays Griffin another Jumper and he’s outrageously-vilely good; in respect. If there was a stand out I would say that Bell was that stand out. He was the most entertaining and so was the calm Blison.

The jumping was the most captivating part of the entire movie. The visuals for that was fun. It made me like the movie. The fights that involve the jumping, which was most of them, was phenomenal. I might be talking out of my movie deprived mind (because the last two weeks have been dreadful) but hey, it’s an interesting concept and a fun one. Who hasn’t wanted to teleport to a vacation spot instantaneously? However, the bad thing was that the fights were too closely watched. I wished they could have pulled back a bit and showed more. My eyes savored the smooth effects of the jumps with the shaking, ground breaking and violent manner that they create upon a Jumper’s destination. I enjoyed how other things were used in the jumps, such as the scene where a bus was jumped as an attack. There was humor in the use of the jumps as well. There could have been more of those small humor moments if the director and writers were keen on what was important.

The ending was seemingly a set up to do more movies. But the ending was also a semi-clever twist in a minor manner within the conventional family with a non-conventional sprinkle. It was a good ending to a so-so good movie. I enjoyed it. I was entertained. Will you be entertained? Normally this movie would just fall to the wayside. I would have seen it even if it opened with GREAT blockbusters because I thought it was going to be slightly similar to Equilibrium, but it wasn’t. I believe the reason it did so well was because it was a movie people actually saw the trailer and thought wow that’s going to be an action movie, thanks. Considering the last two weeks have been nothing but crap it was destined to do well, and it did. Don’t set high expectations and you’ll find it ok. If you have any high expectations, just don’t bother.

Jumper is and was a great concept but this movie felt like it knew it but did not use everything it could to its fullest potential. It was like building up a great explosion and all that is given is a lot of smoke. Jumper revs the engine but ends up sputtering.

I am glad to be back to seeing movies....even if they are not totally AWESOME like next weeks DVD release of Death at a Funeral.

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