Jun 30, 2008

[Movies] Jumper

JumperOn my own, I would never go out of my way to see Jumper, a film that got panned by critics and movie-goers everywhere. Sure, Hayden Christensen has his moments (like that shirtless moment in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones), but I've yet to be seriously impressed with him as an actor. Throw in the poor rating the film received from my favorite unconventional movie guru, The Movie Preview Critic, then my mind was pretty much set. Fast-forward to me being stuck in a 13-hour flight from Los Angeles to Taipei with Jumper being one of the limited options available and you have me finally taking the time to watch it.

Oh boy.

Jumper is the story of David (Christensen) who discovers that he has the ability to "jump" or teleport himself instantaneously to any location he can imagine / focus on. After mucking around for a few years robbing banks in order to support himself, he suddenly finds himself involved in a supposedly thousand year old war between Jumpers and Paladins, the "bad guys" led by Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) who essentially use tazers to prevent Jumpers from teleporting. Throw in another rogue jumper named Griffin (Jamie Bell) who helps David elude and eventually fight the Paladins and you have this movie. Oh, and there was a love interest thrown in for good measure.

Hardcover EditionImage via WikipediaThe movie was based on a 1992 novel of the same name written by Steven Gould. I skimmed the synopsis in the interests of learning more about the source material and needless to say it's a good thing I don't compare movies with the books they were based on. The differences between the two are that bad apparently. Oh where do I begin?

First, the Hollywood story was just stupid. An ancient war between Jumpers and Paladins? They didn't even provide a valid reason for the Paladins to hunt the Jumpers down other than a need to control wild elements or something to that. Man, there are penny comic books with stronger plots than that. There were so many gaping wholes in the story along with jumps in logic and insufficient build-up coupled with horrible character development. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Then there's the acting (or whatever it is you can call the hollow performances they rendered. Samuel L. Jackson could do little with his sadly one-dimensional role and this only cements the belief that he will sometimes do just about any movie he feels like - think Snakes on a Plane. Ugh. Don't even get me started with Hayden, who was even more confused about what emotion he's trying portray than he was in Revenge of the Sith.

It makes you think that this movie only came to life after some guy watched X2: X-Men United and thought that Nightcrawler was really cool, and thus we needed a movie featuring teleportation and minimal eye candy like Hayden. Thankfully, the film's performance reminds everyone that it takes a lot more than a half-baked concept to get a movie any true amount of success. It just scares me that they're possibly going to create a sequel. Good lord, no.
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  1. yeah this movie seemed pretty dumb and your post definitely confirmed it. I started a movie review blog myself. I like your reviewing style.

  2. Hey Justin,

    Glad you appreciated how I go through movies - good luck with your own blog. I'll be sure to pay you a visit to see how it goes.