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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Movie Review - Jumper

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Movie Review - Jumper

Starring Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, and Jamie Bell. Directed by Doug Liman.

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence, some language, and brief sexuality. Run time of 90 minutes.

Jumper is a sci-fi movie based on the book by Steven Gould. The movie shows us David(Christensen) who at a young age finds out that he can teleport or jump from one place to another just by thinking about it. Soon, David runs away from home, robs a bank with his newfound abilities and grows up to live an exotic life traveling the world. It all comes crashing down when a paladin shows up. Paladins are the people who hunt down and kill jumpers for getting away with things they shouldn't like robbing banks. The plot throws in some more characters and love interests, but nothing substantial to stray from the main story.

Jumper had such amazing potential with a great director in Doug Liman. Liman previously directed Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Bourne Identity. He did excellent jobs with both of those flicks, it would appear he would do good with this one, however he tends to get confused on what he's trying to do. From one scene to the next, elements don't seem to make sense and the audience is left to wonder why. Such as, why are the paladin's the bad guys? These jumpers are stealing and living the high life illegally and the paladin's are hunting them down for it. Shouldn't our story be about the paladin's? Obviously imagining yourself as the jumper is a much more exciting fantasy, however in the real world, the jumpers would just be criminals. For some reason, we are led to believe that the jumpers are good and the paladins are bad. They do very little to keep this illusion and mainly by showing the paladins killing other people to get to the jumpers.

The acting is so terrible that its hard to imagine why Hayden Christensen ever got a job. He was quite boring in the Star Wars prequels and expands upon his ability to be boring in Jumper. Along with Christensen's bland performance, you have Rachel Bilson who has done some interesting work before, but ends up standing around and being utterly useless in this film. The intriguing part is that the movie starts out with two younger actors playing the roles Christensen and Bilson take over for the rest of the movie. The younger actors do an AMAZING job and much of the likability of the characters when they are older come from the initial impressions of them as children. Especially compelling is the role of AnnaSophia Robb who plays Bilson's character Millie to begin with. AnnaSophia was previously in 'Because of Winn-Dixie' and 'Bridge to Terabithia' and was excellent in both of those flicks as well. She is only on screen for 10 minute or so, but sets up the character way better than Bilson's attempt. Samuel L. Jackson shows up as head paladin and turns in a lackluster performance, but at least he's convincing and watchable. Then, the saving grace shows up in Jamie Bell. Jamie ignites just enough fun in the flick that it gets a bit interesting again, and then they get rid of him.

The ending is a visual feast as it jumps from one scenic location to another visiting places such as Rome, Egypt, and more. It is a great battle and somewhat redeems the movie, but is too little too late.

If you are a fan of sci-fi, this is not the worst flick you could be watching. It does at least keep your attention and its not overly long clocking in at 90 minutes. Matter of fact, I can't keep thinking about how much better a movie it may have been with different actors/actresses. Granted, I didn't think about that while watching the flick but after reading another critics review of the film, I realized that the movie wasn't half bad if it wasn't for the terrible acting. Thus, I think the premise is pretty decent, the visual effects are well done, the overall story somewhat messy but interesting, and the locations are amazing.

As always, check it our yourself and let me know what you think. Jumper is playing at Cinema 3 in McCook starting Valentine's Day. Check out www.fridleytheatres.com for more information and show times.

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