Movie Review: Jumper (2008)

On the surface Jumper looks like a movie I’ve been longing for – an action movie that has a character that actually embraces his or her extraordinary talent and uses it in a realistic manner (i.e., not like a superhero). Of course after seeing the movie, it doesn’t quite live up to my expectations.

The concept, I like. Loosely based off of the book of the same name by Steven Gould, Jumper captures the life of a guy, David Rice (Hayden Christensen), with the amazing gift of teleportation. Using these powers as any young man would (or a least how I would), he teleports himself around the world to lavish, breathtaking locations and into a great deal of wealth. But such travels don’t go unnoticed. There are people known as paladins who feel this ability leads to absolute corruption. They’re led by a cruel gentleman named Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) and they’ve taken it upon themselves to rid the earth of jumpers and all people associated with them.

As for the execution of the film, I didn’t like it so much. Director Doug Liman (who had a strong hand in the phenomenal success of the Bourne trilogy), doesn’t get nearly enough out of this cast nor does he manage to make much sense of the screenplay that was handed to him.

Let me tackle the casting issues first. While I initially thought handing the lead role over to Christensen couldn’t do any harm (you may recall he simply destroyed Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the Star Wars prequels), I ashamedly was wrong. He had no emotional range then, and he has none now. Granted there isn’t much needed in Jumper, but a blank stare and parted lips hardly convey exasperation, fear or excitement – the main emotions needed for the movie – it shows confusion (which was basically the look of most people in the theater). Same goes for Rachel Bilson who plays Millie, the love interest in the movie. You can pretty much insert her name in place of Christensen’s in the preceding sentences, but just add she used puppy dog eyes for everything and that the cute little body she sported in The O.C., has magically left her and in its place left her some pancake titties. If she doesn’t want to end up like that rag Mischa Barton, she better get her act together – quickly.

Moving onto the story, it is so full of holes I thought I may as well be looking at a wedge of Swiss cheese. Without giving away too much, I found myself asking questions like, “If these jumpers simply appear and disappear in full view of people, why is only a secret sect of people hunting them?”, “If the paladins have been hunting jumpers for hundreds of years, why do they insist on full force attacks; wouldn’t tact be an easier avenue to capture them?”, “Why would Millie go to Rome with David when he’s been missing and presumed dead for eight years, and dodging all the questions she’s asking?” and “Why is Diane Lane first billed?”. There are, as you may presume, lots more questions without answers but the real ass kicker is the pathetic twist tossed at the ending. It is so totally out of scope that I couldn’t help but laugh at it.

As an oh yeah, I’ll mention that a great many of the locales are beautiful (Paris, France, Giza, Egypt and Rome, Italy) and some of the CGI action is impressive (teleporting, car chase), but on the whole, you can safely hop, skip and jump right past Jumper.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad


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The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: Jumper (2008)' have 8 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 16, 2008 @ 9:58 pm Fletch

    Ok, I haven’t read any spoilers (that I know of) – only a few reviews that have, like yours, mentioned the awful ending that sets it up for a trilogy or so.

    Let me guess: Diane Lane (mommy) is a Jumper, too?

    What a letdown this movie is, judging from said reviews. I never thought it looked GREAT, but it looked like it should have been a hell of a lot better than I’m hearing, especially coming from Liman. He’s a big fat 0 for his last 2. Get with it, Doug.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 17, 2008 @ 7:19 pm Tracy

    I first heard about this movie through Wired magazine, and of course they ripped it apart for its unrealistic approach to teleportation. I can ignore that review!
    But after seeing more I came to the conclusion it was the typical Hollywood had a great idea, but once again did not get it made right and left us disappointed.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 18, 2008 @ 5:22 pm Fresk

    What a disaster. I hope there aren’t any sequels to this.

    Fletch: Wrong guess. Try the next equally obvious one. :)

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 18, 2008 @ 9:31 pm DCMovieGirl

    You guys are too articulate and kind to this movie.

    …ESPECIALLY compared to myself.

    I was just too pissed, that I spent money on this to bother.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 19, 2008 @ 2:21 pm patrick

    The filming style of Jumper made me feel like i myself was jumping around, which was good. Also Christensen’s lines were as short as possible, which was ideal for the movie’s overall quality.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    February 20, 2008 @ 5:29 pm Isaac

    “Jumper” is no masterpiece, but I absolutely loved it and will buy the DVD when it is available. Sure the movie has plot-holes, but what movie doesn’t? (Check the 164 goofs listed in IMDB about a favorite “Live Free or Die Hard”).

    Consider that the movie “Citizen Kane” is considered by most critics and the AFI as being the single “Best Movie Ever” but, as those who have watched it can plainly note, the bulk of movie is about the effort by reporters to discover the significance of the last whispered words (“Rosebud”) of a 1930’s multi-millionaire recluse. The biggest plot-hole of all-time is that the movie plainly shows that there is no one in the room with Kane when he whispers “Rosebud”, drops a small glass object that, when it smashes, alerts a nurse who finds him already dead. The single biggest goof of all-time, yet critics and movie lovers suspend disbelief and crown this otherwise just excellent movie.

    As a true movie lover, I am sorry that people who consider themselves to be movie lovers take the time and effort to brand many movies as “trash”, and to categorize those that like movies that trhey don’t as “idiots”. Tell the truth, how many comments have you read from those who consider most movies they see as “the worst movie ever”, and who categorize those who like those movies as “idiots”?

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 9, 2008 @ 9:15 pm Magda

    This review so perfectly encapsulates my disappointment in this movie, i’m starting to wonder if I jumped ahead and wrote it! Haydn Christensen should take his retirement money from the StarWars movies and just go! THe girl, i hope never to see again. She drowned out what was left of the incredible promise of the entire Colisseum scene. The British sounding guy was working so hard he seemed too hyper. Haydn’s character never seemed to appreciate the seriousness of the matter, and it made it impossible to feel any pity for him then when he was all trussed up like an electric eel kebab. you are too kind, and maybe the fabulous premise and cgi save it from being just a notch above Norbit, but please let’s give it the zero vote it deserves. YUCH

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    November 5, 2008 @ 11:04 am big men swear

    I actually thought it was ok. Maybe not an epic, but I think you’re a bit harsh.

    It’s the type of film that you can easily watch without thinking, which is what you want sometimes.

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