Jumper is a pretty interesting concept for a film. If you are a Jumper then all you have to do is think of a place and that’s where you teleport. Makes watching TV very difficult though. Watch a disaster movie and it’s like “Oops I fell into a volcano.” So it’s not something you want, but the travel would be nice.
The film follows David Rice (played by Max Thieriot and also by Hayden Christensen) as he discovers his warping powers after falling into a frozen lake and almost drowning. He runs from his dad and robs a bank, getting a place of his own. The film then jumps 8 years into the future. There’s no reason for it to be 8 years in the future, but it is. Anyway he meets up with childhood sweetheart Millie (Played by AnnaSophia Robb and also by Rachel Bilson) who wanted to travel the world, so they go to Rome (On a plane of all things).
However he isn’t the only Jumper, there are lots of them (Well, we see about three or four of them in the film in total). There are also a group of people who kills jumpers called Paladins. The main Paladin is called Roland (Played by Samuel L Jackson). The Paladins’ jobs are made more difficult because most of the time whenever they get a tip off, they are led to the location of a woolly jumper instead (That’s definitely in the movie). Naturally in several points of the film, David and Roland meet up because Roland finds out that David robbed the bank and therefore is now trying to kill him.
Despite being the protagonist, David Rice is the least interesting main character because we don’t really get to find out what he is thinking most of the time other than through his actions. Yes he is immature and naive, but that doesn’t necessarily make for a compelling character because we don’t get much insight. The story probably would have been better off being told through the point of view of Millie because unlike him she says what she is thinking. There is another Jumper character called Griffin (Played by Jaime Bell) who says what he is thinking. The writers probably thought that some people would prefer Griffin to David because of his Anti-Heroness, but I prefer him to David because Griffin occasionally makes sense. Yes I know that David is supposed to be new and inexperienced, but it took him 8 years to find out the existence of other Jumpers. You can’t do something for 8 years and still be new.
There are parts of the plot that just don’t work. For example later on in the film (This isn’t a spoiler) we find out that David made his first jump when he was 5. Who doesn’t remember what they were doing when they were 5? Also at the beginning of the film David tells us that his dad is not a very good parent so I presume we are supposed to dislike him, but we don’t see any examples of bad parenting from him. The film even gets us to like him later on, so I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to think about him. Maybe in the novel you can read about him being a bad parent, but I’m not reviewing novel/film combos. If it’s not in the film narrative then it’s not in the film narrative, and I’m not going to check the novel. The novel doesn’t even sound that good because for the plot to work, most people in the film can’t know what Jumpers are, which considering that Paladins have apparently been after Jumpers for centuries sounds a bit silly. Even Griffin, a savvy jumper, jumps right in front of hundreds of people in the film, and possibly in front of thousands over time.
That all said there are some brilliant set pieces in the film. In the beginning it promises to take us to great locations and it delivers. There are some really good action sequences, especially in the last third. I enjoyed watching the technology the Paladin’s use to catch and kill the jumpers, even if they wouldn’t all work in real life and the Paladins being able to use them come out of nowhere plot wise. It’s really satisfying to see the characters jump from place to place. There’s also nothing really awful about the film, but considering that I need to say that just to raise some expectations is a bit sad.
The reason why the good stuff about the film is squished down here is because it’s really good at what I don’t prioritise – the action sequences and it’s quite difficult to describe them in text without just telling you what happens. The basic idea is good and the action sequences are fantastic. But the writing needs some work. This film is enjoyable, provided that the main character doesn’t annoy you too much. I’ll give Jumper a 6/10, and just hope that rating doesn’t seem too out of place considering my review.
A few years ago I did a film review show on youtube with the quality so bad, it was like listening to it from inside a plane engine whilst eating that type of chocolate that crackles in your mouth. Will I make new videos? Probably not. But I’ll do film reviews on this blog. First, Beats of the Southern Wild.