Might as Well Jump

Boy, did I want Jumper to be good. I mean people already think my original comic book property, Slip Kid, is a riff on Jumper. So if the movie’s good, then at least people will think I ripped off something decent. Well, Jumper really only gets to about the level of a turn-your-brain-off-popcorn-movie with an attractive cast and some great locations. That’s all it has.

Hayden Christensen is good looking and has a nice smile, but his acting doesn’t rise above the typical soap opera. Rachel Bilson is superhumanly attractive and, to her credit, never once did I think of The O.C. when she was on screen. Samuel L. Jackson is playing the same badass character he plays in nearly all of his action movies and even here he seems like he’s phoning it in. The director, Doug Liman, also directed The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, so I expected some great action sequences. Disappointingly, none of them are inventive or interesting.

The story follows David Rice as he learns he can teleport and immediately robs a bank. I find it amusing that David can utilize the “Marvel Team-Up” comic book idea when trying to sell his new found fellow teleporter on going up against Sam Jackson’s white haired bad guy, but he doesn’t think once about Spider-man’s “With great power, comes great responsibility?”

We see him in his swanky apartment with high end motorcycle, golf clubs and wet bar in the background watching people trapped in a flood on television. So, this is an anti-superhero movie… okay, I can sorta get behind that except for the fact now the audience has no one to root for or identify with.

I know we are supposed to feel something for the geeky character from the beginning who now has immense wealth (stolen, though), the ability to hang out on top of the Sphinx and Big Ben, and looks like Hayden Christensen, but it just ain’t happening. Also not happening is much chemistry between Hayden and Rachel. I heard much of the romantic angle was left on the cutting room floor. It’s a shame because much of the plot relies on David trying to impress or save Millie and I was wondering why she was the “one” and not the super attractive blonde he beds in London.

What might have set the movie apart from other typical sci-fi/action/super-hero movies would have been keeping the casting of one of my favorite up and coming actresses, AnnaSophia Robb, who plays a young Millie and Max Thierot, who plays a young David, in their roles and exploring the consequences of having the ability to teleport. Sorry, I guess you’ll have to just read Slip Kid to get that kind of exploration.

Instead, we get a stupid plot about jumpers and religious zealots called paladins who want to kill all jumpers. We know this because Jackson’s character Roland, rather mercilessly, kills another jumper with a knife to the chest. I think this scene is supposed to help the audience realize Roland is the bad guy. I just thought it was out of place.

I know what the photos are for because I read the novel, but the audience doesn’t know. Sometimes it appears to be the anchor needed to teleport to that place, but plenty of times in the movie the teleporting characters can go wherever they want without the anchor. I could go on and on about the plot holes, but what’s the use. Like I said, turn your brain off at the door.

It does have some amazing shots of Rome, Tokyo, London and New York, so I guess it works as a travelogue, but no more than a typical James Bond movie.

When I saw the trailer and realized there was a “war” I immediately thought of Underworld and Highlander. Jumper might be successful enough to merit a sequel or two. Underworld certainly did and Highlander had more than one.

You can see Jumper in theaters. You can read the first issue of Slip Kid right on this site.