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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Jumper

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Judy Thorburn

"Jumper" - Falls Flat As A Sci-Fi Thriller

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"JUMPER" - FALLS FLAT AS A SCI-FI THRILLER

Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

Jumper, billed as a sci fi adventure/thriller revolves around David Rice (Max Thierot) a young man who suddenly discovers at the age of 15 that he has the ability to teleport anywhere in the world, or “jump” (hence the title) from one location to another via a worm hole in space. So what does David do with this special power? He jumps into a bank vault to “borrow” enough money to support himself and leave home, where he’s been raised alone by his good for nothing single Dad (Michael Rooker) since being abandoned by his Mom (a wasted Diane Lane) when he was five.

Fast forward years later and David (now played by Hayden Christensen) is living a carefree life in an expensive New York apartment when not jumping to exotic places and doing anything he wants such as a picnic on the top of the Sphinx in Egypt, surfing the waves anywhere on the planet, or standing on the ledge of London’s Big Ben to take in the view. Only soon David finds that he is being hunted by a mysterious man with short cropped, snow white hair named Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) who flashes around an NSA card but is more than meets the eye. Needless to say, Roland is the (clichéd) bad guy, one of many Paladins, an organization of religious fanatics who know about David and others of his kind. For centuries they have been on a mission to find and kill jumpers, whom they believe should not have the power to do what only God can do, be in all places at the same time. For eight years, Roland has been on David’s trail, knowing that only a jumper could rob a bank without opening doors. According to Roland, David “can’t go on living like this. It has its consequences.”

Sure sounds like an intriguing concept with great potential. Unfortunately, the execution is a big disappointment especially since I expected much more from director Doug Liman. Jumper falls short of the high energy style he brought to The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Left with so many unanswered questions, plot holes, loose ends, and inane dialogue, I wonder if the filmmaker actually watched the finish product. In one quick scene I noticed some white powder smudged over Jackson’s face that must have come from his spray-on hair color. Obviously, the editor must have neglected to leave that shot on the cutting room floor.

Thrown into the mix is a love interest, pretty but clueless Millie (Rachel Bilson, given some ludicrous lines), a young woman David proclaims to have loved since he was five (that number comes up a lot, but like so much else, is not explored). Yet, as a teen, he dropped out of her life and then suddenly years later, reappears at the local bar where she works and is welcomed with open arms. With no questions asked, Millie quickly accepts David’s proposal to fly away to Rome, the city of her dreams. During a visit to the Coliseum David comes in contact and forms an alliance with another jumper, a Brit named Griffin (Jamie Bell), who educates David about their pursuers, Paladins, and then helps fight them off.

The method Roland uses to capture jumpers is an electrified stick and a lasso that zaps its victims with 1,000 volts of electricity. Roland also has what he calls “the machine” (looks like some sort of cheap space heater or amplifier) which is supposed to open up worm holes so he can follow them. It’s all very scientific – Not! Silly? Yes. I can’t help think, If Roland is so determined to kill his prey, why doesn’t he just use a gun and be done with it?

At best, the special effects are less than extraordinary. When David goes into jumping mode, things shake but visually speaking it is nothing special. Speaking of shaky, why so many movies tend to employ a shaky camera for action scenes is beyond me. All it does is create a dizzying and blurry effect so that it is hard to make out what is going on.

Left hanging at the end with a lack of needed explanations that would fill in the gaps of the muddled story line, I would assume the door is left open for a sequel. I would hope the follow up will be better. But I mustn’t jump to conclusions.