Don’t jump to it


The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Reviews - MICHAEL DWYER

Di­rected by Doug Li­man. Star­ring Hay­den Christensen, Jamie Bell, Samuel L Jack­son, Rachel Bil­son, Max Thieriot, Michael Rooker, Diane Lane 12A cert, gen re­lease, 88 min

IT’S TOUGH be­ing a teen, as count­less movies have told us. True to form, David Rice, the pro­tag­o­nist of Jumper, is in­tro­duced as a 15-year-old in­tro­vert (played by Max Thieriot), who’s bul­lied at school and liv­ing un­hap­pily with his gruff fa­ther (Michael Rooker) since his mother (Diane Lane in a cameo) left home years ear­lier.

For­tu­nately, David just hap­pens to dis­cover an un­tapped gift for tele­port­ing him­self when he al­most drowns in an ice­cov­ered lake.

He ea­gerly seizes on the op­por­tu­ni­ties that come with be­ing a “Jumper”: run­ning away from home, rob­bing a bank to fund a lav­ish lifestyle and glo­be­trot­ting at will with­out the bur­den of air­port bu­reau­cracy and se­cu­rity queues.

This, in­evitably, is too good to last, and when David is in his early twen­ties (and Hay­den Christensen takes over the role), he finds him­self the prey of Pal­adins, a clan­des­tine or­gan­i­sa­tion that re­gards Jumpers as abom­i­na­tions who have to be de­stroyed. Al­though David’s chirpy fel­low Jumper (Jamie Bell) dis­misses the Pal­adins as “re­li­gious nuts”, they are sin­gle-minded in their pur­suit and led by a white-haired Samuel L Jack­son (in his sec­ond movie as the neme­sis of Christensen, af­ter Re­venge of the Sith).

Di­rec­tor Doug Li­man ( Go, The Bourne Iden­tity) or­ches­trates a few vig­or­ous ac­tion se­quences, draws on elab­o­rate spe­cial ef­fects and makes ef­fec­tive use of in­ter­na­tional lo­ca­tions from Man­hat­tan to Tokyo to Rome, where he and his crew were given un­prece­dented ac­cess to use the Coli­seum.

How­ever, the ra­tio­nale of the movie is sim­plis­tic and un­der­de­vel­oped, and its card­board char­ac­ters are un­der­writ­ten. The edit­ing is fre­netic, and the rel­a­tively brief run­ning time sug­gests that much of Jumper may have ended up on the cut­ting-room floor.

Hay­den Christensen, Rachel Bil­son

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