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STEPHEN'S MOVIE GUIDE

Jumper (2008)   rating

Review: written 2008

Fails to transport you

Jumper (2008)

An interesting story idea, brought together by interesting talent, falls oddly short of expectations in this action movie with fantasy elements.

The stall is set out early, as an intro shows Hayden Christensen discovering his ability to teleport (jump) from place to place. He indulges himself with his ability, leaving behind the love of his teen life and living in style, until he meets another Jumper, played by Jamie Bell. They are tracked by the Paladin, a secret group led by Samuel Jackson who are hell bent on destroying Jumpers. And that's really about it - and I don't mean that I am saving the rest of the plot to avoid writing spoilers - that really is about it, it really devolves into a `does-he-get-the-girl' movie at this point, winding up after a scant 84 minutes, seemingly in the middle of the story. Why do the Paladin want to destroy Jumpers? Will Christensen achieve his stated goal of destroying the oddly coiffured Jackson character? What makes the Jumpers what they are? How many are there? Will Christensen's character ever come out of his permanent sulk? All remain unanswered - presumably in the hopes of providing sequel material.

Hayden Christensen does little here to dispel notions that his acting is on a par with your nearest oak tree, but Jamie Bell is interestingly edgy and has the benefit of the films few humorous moments. Bilson looks terrific but really has little to do once the special effects starts, and Jackson is really only going through the motions. None of this really matters with such thinly drawn characters, and the director smooths over the cracks with his efficient action scenes. The movie does crackle along with innovative set pieces which pique the interest, ultimately however leaving you all the more unfulfilled at the (partly literally) cliffhanger ending.

Overall, you're left with the feeling that as much as there is to like, this would have been much better edited down to a 20 minute introduction to a much more interesting and complex film.





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