February 14th, 2008 by exolstice


Anywhere is possible? It’s not exactly a tagline that would have made me rush to theaters to see Jumper, the latest effort by Doug Liman, director of The Bourne Identity. Well thank heavens for free movie passes, because I would have otherwise missed out and this original and entertaining flick.

Based on novel by Steven Gould, the movie tells story of a Jumper named David Rice played by Hayden Christensen. He’s one of a select few group of people born with the ability to teleport from one place to another provided they’ve seen their destination before (like Nightcrawler from X-Men). He discovers this ability accidentally while in high school, during an incident which has him fall through the ice on a frozen river. Flash forward to present time, about 8 years later, and we can see he’s been using his powers for largely selfish goals.

Basically, he’s been doing what most people would have done in his situation. Namely using his powers to gain personal wealth, travel the world, and just be lazy in general. In one particularly amusing scene, he uses his ability to teleport from one end of the couch to the other in order to reach the remote, and later to retrieve a beverage from the fridge. I couldn’t help but think to myself: “He’s got the ultimate lazy man’s superpower!” In fact, I left the theater with a more than slight feeling of annoyance at having to ride the bus home.

Of course, having no one to mentor him, he’s not very careful with his powers and he eventually draws the attention of a secret organization of religious zealots called Paladins, led by Samuel L. Jackson. Their goal is to hunt down and kill Jumpers. He’ll have more than one run-in with the group during the run of the film, often escaping with the help of a fellow Jumper who’s been doing this a lot longer than he has.

What follows is an enjoyable adventure spanning multiple real locations around the globe, sometimes during the same scene. The fights are incredible as the characters jump from one continent to the next, teleporting large objects like buses or trucks to drive into each other. The effects are really amazing.

Another plus is that film never gets bogged down in tedious scientific explanations that usually get in the way of the action or story. We never find out how the jumping ability works, or how they Paladin’s technology functions, nor do we care. I appreciate that fact. Coming from a scientific background myself, I was getting tired of movies that insist on filling up screen time with meaningless technobabble.

This film isn’t without it’s faults, it leaves quite a few plot lines unresolved, setting up further sequels. However, the film did feel like it had a proper ending and it does work as a standalone project, unlike Matrix: Reloaded for example. I was very surprised with how much I enjoyed this movie. Highly recommended.


Buy from Amazon.com : Jumper
Buy from Amazon.ca : Jumper

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