Jumper is one of those movies that appear to be all fluff and no substance. I’m not sure how much substance one could be looking for, but it seemed like it would be gimmicky. I’ll credit the studio with promoting the hell out of this movie, and their marketing efforts have apparently paid off, as the movie is currently #1 at the box office. Having said all that, I’ll admit that Jumper wasn’t the suckfest I expected it to be. Not exactly high praise, but I wasn’t disappointed.
Directed by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Jumper stars Hayden Christensen (Revenge of the Sith) as David Rice, a young man with a very special gift. He can teleport anywhere in the world just by willing himself there. He accidentally discovers his ability at the age of 15. He experienced a tragic, intense event that presumably got his adrenaline pumping, and the next thing you know he teleports from his high school grounds to the town library. Abandoned by his mother (Diane Lane in a bit part) at age 5 and enduring a strained relationship with his father, David takes off for NYC after discovering his newfound talent. He does what many people would do with such a gift, making the absolute most of it. He robs banks, since he can just magically appear within their vaults. He travels the world, and that’s perhaps the coolest part. He eats lunch atop the Sphinx in Egypt, chills out on Big Ben in London…you name it, he can do it. It was fascinating to watch him living a life without limits, where every whim is possible. There is also an emptiness to David’s life though, as he cannot share his secret with anyone and doesn’t have any friends. His is a solitary existence, filled with material possessions but nothing of any substance, no real relationships. That changes when he returns to his hometown of Ann Arbor and re-connects with his high school crush Millie, played by Rachel Bilson (The OC). Of course all good things must come to an end, and David’s charmed existence is bound to be noticed eventually, or else this wouldn’t be the movies. Enter Samuel L. Jackson as Roland (Black Snake Moan) a sort of jumper hunter, if you will. Roland thinks that only God should be able to do what David can. Fair enough. Roland doesn’t seem very religious though. Quite mean actually. Anyway, of course I have my complaints. Jumper ventures into the realm of the ridiculous when too many people find out that David can teleport. It’s supposed to be a secret, right? Also, doesn’t anyone wonder why he just disappears at times?? Come on now.
Jumper is fine enough for a matinee…but I wouldn’t make it a date night activity. Entertaining due to its concept but loaded with implausibilities, Jumper is good but not great.