Don’t jump to it
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