Jumper (2008)
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Review Date: April 23, 2008
Director: Doug Liman
Writer: David Goyer, Jim Uhls, Simon Kinberg
Producers: Lucas Foster, Simon Kinberg, Stacy Maes
Hayden Christensen as David
Samuel L. Jackson as Roland
Rachel Bilson as Millie
A young boy discovers that he has the power to teleport himself to any place in the world, simply by thinking hard enough about it. The boy grows up to be Darth Vader (well, the dude who played him in the second sub-par STAR WARS trilogy, that is) and soon starts “jumping” all over the world, to surf high waves, date English chicks and most importantly…to chew down on some Quiznos sandwiches on top of the Sphinx in Egypt! Aaaaah…to be a jumper. A lot of “jumping” ensues, as well as a lot of white hair on top of SLJ’s head.
I really liked this movie but unfortunately much like its lead character, played effectively by Hayden Christensen, it moved a little too fast, and much like its lead female character, played unremarkably by Rachel Bilson, it had very little meat on its bones. The setup of this film was about as great as you can get. Despite a super-illogical premise, the movie really sold me on how everything worked within the first 15 minutes, and it didn’t take long for me to enjoy the good times on top of the Sphinx alongside Christensen and his yummy-looking ‘wich. In fact, I enjoyed a lot about the film including the cutesy romance between the two leads (girl needs to eat more burgers though, any thinner and she would have disappeared from the screen herself), the many “jumps” and globetrotting situations, the action sequences, many of which moved about as fast as the film, but still managed to entertain by their sheer originality alone, and yeah…even Jamie Bell and his grating accent. Heck, I didn’t even mind when he basically started “explaining the whole plot to the audience”, as he explained Christensen’s situation to him in the film. I did feel like some scenes were edited together a little too quickly though, to the point that I had to rev my brain up a few times, so that I wouldn’t fall behind (not that the plot is too complicated, mind you).

Also, as much as I enjoyed the film’s basic premise regarding these “paladins” chasing these “jumpers” over time and doing all in their power to extinguish them….uhhhhm, how about a little background on them fellas? I realize we were given a little bit of information on the baddies, but not nearly enough for me to truly invest myself in their passionate pursuit of the world-hoppers. And speaking of baddies, good for Samuel L. Jackson for continuing his quest to play the weirdest looking character in a motion picture (he got close with UNBREAKABLE and BLACK SNAKE MOAN, but does a real number here), and moreso for the odd affectation that he carried in his voice throughout the entire movie. He sounded a little weird at first, but after a while…I got into it!! Kinda like when your girlfriend dresses up like a young Asian prostitute and hops into bed. At first, you’re taken aback by the odd nature of her actions, but after a while you’re like, “Fuck it, I might as well enjoy this shit.” But I digress. The film ended on a fun note too, with the baddies fighting the goodies for…well, I’m not really sure what they were fighting for, but the point is that I had a good time with it.

I’m not sure the whole “mother” angle was all that interesting though, but I read somewhere (probably on joblo.com!!) that this was only the first of a few “Jumper” flicks, so that was likely just a setup for something in the next movie. Which would also help explain the overall compact nature of the film. Still though, I wish it had been a little longer…kinda like my penis. Sigh. But all in all, it packed a pretty sweet sci-fi wallop, entertained and intrigued, kept everything moving at a clip (an 85-minute clip) and left me wanting more. Not the deepest film of the year, nor the one that will stay with you for days on end, but certainly one that generates a lot of cooler possibilities for any future follows-up. JUMPER and JUMPER 2 together might make for an amazing combo flick!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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