A Thunder Matt Movie Minute: Jumper

February 18, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Governor X

Jumper promises very little and delivers almost nothing. The story is essentially about a young man who can “jump,” that is teleport anywhere he wants in an instant. As the poster says, anything is possible. Unfortunately, that may have been too much for the writers to handle. These guys clearly need boundaries as Jumper meanders all over the place without bothering to explain much of anything.

Hayden Christensen is the young man, David Rice with the extraordinary gift. Why? No one knows, and no one in this movie really cares, not even him. Watching the Star Wars films, it was hard to get a good gauge of how good or bad an actor Christensen is. Let’s face it, the Star Wars films are not known for their dialogue and emotion. Post Star Wars, we now get to see what he can do with another script. Well, he’s bad. You could basically replace him with a ham sandwich and get a similar performance. Perhaps there is a career out there for him playing a Terminator since they are supposed to be void of passion anyway.

Back to the film. Rice vanishes one day after falling in a river. He is presumed dead but in reality he jumped out of there and into the Ann Arbor Public Library. The girl he had his eye on believes he is alive though since before leaving town for good, he drops by to leave a snowglobe on her swing. This is clearly an attempt to put Jumper into the category of Citizen Kane. The writers fell short.

He runs off to New York, on a bus, since Greyhound is clearly preferable to teleporting and robs a bank. The bank robbery raises a lot of eyebrows because no one actually opened the door. This brings the unwanted attention of Roland Cox (Samuel L Jackson with white hair) who is a Paladin. The Paladins kill jumpers because “only God should have this power!” OK then. Rice narrowly escapes a run in with Roland in his lavish New York loft and jumps back to Ann Arbor.

Back in Ann Arbor, not appearing to be too concerned about the lunatic that just tried to kill him, he looks up his old flame, now played ably by The OC’s Rachel Bilson. After dispatching with the local douchebag, he starts to chat with her and quickly offers to take her to see Rome, her lifelong dream. She agrees and they’re off to Rome, first class of course, and once in the hotel she promptly has sex with him. Honestly though, after a free first class trip to Rome, she pretty much had to.

They’re off sightseeing, but damn it, wouldn’t you know the Coliseum is closed. No worries, Rice manages to find an open door. Tee hee. In they go, but their self guided tour is interrupted when Rice bumps into a surly Englishman pissing on the Roman ruins. He’s a jumper…”Did you think you were the only one?!?!?” he asks. Clearly the answer is yes, since Rice is so self-absorbed it’s unlikely he realizes anyone else exists at all, much less a fellow jumper. Then some Paladins come and a battle ensues. Shockingly enough, both jumpers escape the Paladins, but Rice isn’t so lucky with the Italian police. They catch him and take him to the station for questioning. It doesn’t look good for him, but out of nowhere his long lost mother (Diane Lane) appears and tells him to run. He does, and he promptly abandons Rachel Bilson at the airport. It’s OK bud, I’ve got her back.

Here’s where I really start to lose interest in both the movie and this post. Rice jumps to the new British jumper’s lair where they discuss what’s going on. British guy, I’m just going to call him Bub since I forget his name, kills Paladins. That sounds good to Rice who proposes an alliance, but Bub wants nothing of it. He works alone. He teleports off, but Rice is quickly behind and harasses him until he relents. Roland is going down.

I’m just going to jump a bit myself and go to the part where Rice liberates Rachel Bilson from Roland. Yeah, that happens. Rice strands Roland in the Grand Canyon. He’s not going to kill him because he’s different. Satisfied with leaving this homicidal loon on the loose (for the sequel), Rice sets off to find Mom. Well, there she is living in a white palace on a river. She’s a Paladin…oh no! Its OK though, she always lets him go because she loves him. The end.

Anything is possible. OK, but if anything is possible, are you really going to eat a Subway sandwich (yes, you can make out the wrapper) on top of the Sphinx? I doubt I would. Also, how the hell do the Paladins not wipe these guys out? The little electrode weapon seems to really have their number, but the jumpers always get away. George Bush must be the head Paladin.

Richard Roeper called the film “good looking crap” – I can think of no better description.

1.5 wooden Hayden Christensen performances out of 5