Review: Jumper (2008)

Jumper

Directed by: Doug Liman
Starring
: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson

I just saw this movie for the very first time yesterday, which is a shame, because despite poor reception from critics, I’d wanted to see it since its release. I mean hey, with Doug Liman heading the project, how bad could it be? Too bad I would’ve been better off, had I known what I was getting myself into.

The “story” behind Jumper centers around David Rice, the bearer of a genetic anomaly that essentially allows him to teleport from place to place in the blink of an eye. Little does he know, this ability, classifying him as a “Jumper,” has thrust him into a war between his kind and the “Paladins” that have sworn to kill every last one of them. Soon enough, the people David has come to know and love get caught in the crossfire, and he must do everything in his power to protect them as well as himself.

I’ll start by telling you that this movie really had some potential. Like I’ve already mentioned briefly, I’m pretty fond of Doug Liman’s body of work, minus 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which was okay for what it was. It’s just a shame that Hayden Christensen continues to, somehow, obtain roles in ANY movie, let alone this one. His performance is just ghastly, and I could most accurately compare the amount of emotion he exhibits onscreen to that of a ballpoint pen. As a matter of fact, the supporting cast is what makes this movie borderline tolerable, as Jamie Bell and Samuel L. Jackson steal the show, with Rachel Bilson’s performance being all but memorable, to say the least.

Despite worthwhile efforts from some of the actors in question, no one can manage to save the movie from… itself. The premise IS intriguing, but the movie jumps from scene to scene so fast it’s almost impossible to actually comprehend what the hell just happened. After about an hour or so in, I literally gave up on trying to make sense of every little detail and just went with it. It was around this time that I began to appreciate the movie’s second (and final) redeeming quality: the action. Granted, the special effects are more or less subpar, but I still managed to find amusement within a majority of the fight scenes that took place between both factions.

So, to say Jumper is far from perfect would essentially be an understatement; it’s pretty far from being considered good, or even just decent at that. Hayden Christensen’s abominable performance accompanied by subpar special effects and an ultimately incoherent plot are what truly drags this movie down, down, down. However, it does possess those very few redeeming qualities that kept me from getting up and walking away from the television, cursing myself and those associated with producing such garbage.

Rating: 4/10

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