Far-fetched plot ‘jumps’ to nowhere

Kelly Petryszyn

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

Credit: Ron Soltys


Starring: Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Samuel L. Jackson

Director: Doug Liman

Distributor: Twentieth Century-Fox

Stater rating (out of five): **

Jumper is a middle-of-the-road action flick that tries to woo its viewers with scenes of pretty places and high-tech action. The film makes you motion sick at times, as the scenes flash by so fast.

The story follows David Rice (Hayden Christensen) as a boy with the genetic gift to “jump.” Whether it’s going from the comfort of his bed to the kitchen table or London to Paris, he has the power to go to any destination he wants. Once David learns to use his powers, he lives the high life. He goes from having lunch on top of the Sphinx to riding the waves in Fiji. However, his fun is cut short when a team of jumper-hunters called Paladins, led by Samuel L. Jackson, comes after him. Rice has to viciously fight for his life, while protecting the ones he loves.

This film would have been more interesting if it just concentrated on David’s ability to be wherever he wants. The whole running away from bad guys and the superhero protecting his girl from harm subplots is overdone.

The Paladins seem cult-like and appear slightly ridiculous. Their main purpose in life is to seek and kill jumpers. You would think they would be Blade-esque evil-hunters, but instead you’ve got Samuel L. Jackson and his posse. It comes off as far-fetched. Besides a few good fights, the battle between the Paladins and jumpers is tame.

The cinematography, however, is excellent. There are amazing shots from the top of Big Ben and the Pacific Ocean that make you want to travel the world.

The cast is a strong one but not powerful enough to save this action flick. Christensen’s character lacks depth. Unlike most superheroes who save kids from a burning building, he steals from banks and takes vacations to Rome. His character could have had more spunk or vindictiveness to add interest.

His love interest, Millie (Rachel Bilson), is his childhood crush who conveniently decides to go to Rome with him after not seeing him since they were kids. Bilson helps Christensen depart from his stiff character every now and again with light-hearted comments.

As the head Paladin, Jackson plays his character with vengeance, out to kill jumpers. It’s hard to take him seriously with a ridiculously fake-looking white hairpiece on his head. To add to the phoniness of his character, he threatens each jumper by saying “only God should have the power to be everywhere at once” before he kills them.

Rice’s fellow jumper friend, Griffin, who helps him take down the evil jumper-hunters, is played by Jamie Bell. He is the most enjoyable character because of his zany personality. Griffin outwits the jumper-hunters by hunting them. Bell adds a bit of vest to this otherwise somber action flick.

Jumper is fun to look at but not fun enough to keep you from jumping out of your seat and heading for the door.

Contact all reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected].