“Jumper” fails to deliver the quality of other action/superhero films. Director Doug Liman lacks the ability to provide the same suspense and quality he did for “The Bourne Identity.” Its plot had good potential, but the editing and actors made this movie a failure. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy any good action movie, but this one just did not provoke anything positive. “Jumper” begins with the main character, David Rice (Hayden Christensen), as a teenager in high school. He is portrayed as a geeky loser from Michigan. It is here that he learns he can maneuver through the space-time continuum. Trying to retrieve a gift he attempted to give to his crush, he falls through ice. During his struggle to escape, his teleportation powers kick in and he is transported to the Anne Harbor Library. As he grows accustomed to these new powers, he can only use photos of his destination to be able to teleport there. Eventually, he can just imagine the location and teleport there at will. The only downside to his teleportation is the gaping space time continuum holes and wrecked plaster he leaves behind.
As an adult, he is somewhat of a slacker. Getting by on stolen money, he is able to party all the time and do whatever he wants. He is able to sightsee around the world in seconds, seducing women along the way. Of course, there must be some conflict. Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) is this conflict. He and many others called Paladins are sent to kill any Jumpers. They are a brutal organization, killing any family and friends of Jumpers who stand in their way. They are able to capture Jumpers by using some form of a taser prod. The jolt of electricity stops them from teleporting. Jackson arrives with his usual strong monologues that we have all come to expect, and an interesting new hairdo. A slick white, short cut dominates his scenes almost as much as he does.
Enter Millie (Rachel Bilson). Just as bland as Christensen, she adds nothing to the plot except maybe her good looks. She is the love interest that is fought for during the entire film. Christensen puts on his charm while trying to conceal the fact that he is a Jumper. He takes her to Rome where he first encounters a fellow Jumper, Griffin (Jamie Bell). A short action sequence leaves the viewers with questions about Bell and how he is able to stay hidden from the Paladins. He seems to be one of the few characters in Jumper who provokes any interest in the viewers.
Both Christensen and Bilson lack in their performances. Their facial expressions barely change. I wonder if I were to smack Christensen in the face, if he will give me the same look he gives Bilson when they are about to have sex. Bell is the only one who saves these actors. His camera time generally is shared with Christensen, who should be thanking Bell. His energy helps move the viewers along. Without him, we would only have Jackson, and the brief appearance of Diane Lane (playing Rice’s mother) to save this film.
Incredibly predictable, I found myself bored watching “Jumper” in theaters. Perhaps if there were different main characters who gave something to the plot, I may have been more intrigued. Sometimes good actors overpower a bad movie.
In this situation, that was not the case. Furthermore, no nudity is shown in this film from either Christensen or Bilson. I believe if there were, both men and women might find their $9.50 well-spent. The other reason viewers might enjoy this film are those sci-fi fans out there. The premise is interesting and hasn’t already been attempted in any recent film.
The movie ends with too much of an opening for a sequel. I hope they decide to turn it into a television series and get better actors.
Melanie Peterson is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. She can be reached at MP649178@wcupa.edu.