Jumper was Kinda Flat

Jumper had a lot of promise but it was definitely one of those films where if you’ve seen the commercial, you pretty much saw the film, only you get to see all the cutting floor material in between that make it much less entertaining. The first five minutes was probably the most fun. The very first jump where the lead character Rice (the younger version) falls into an icy lake and jumps or teleports himself from drowning into a public library.

From there it more or less goes down hill. Jamie Bell really shines as Griffin, another jumper who notices Hayden “jumping” right inside a London bar. Griffin is a lone wolf punk who’s out on a mission to kill the “paladins”, a band of religious fanatics that have been killing jumpers since medieval times.

There are really several problems with this movie. The first is the lack of a coherent plot. Jumpers can jump anywhere so naturally the movie jumps all over. It’s cool at first but sort of wears off. Some of the sequences really stand out but it’s hard to make them stand out when there isn’t much of a story to hold it together. The other problem is Hayden’s wooden acting. He has the charisma of a wall. It sucks that he was also a last minute replacement. Leaving Max Thierot, who plays the nominally younger version, would have worked much better.

That’s the thing about this movie, all the elements are more or less in place but it just didn’t “happen”. I found Jamie Bell’s appearances really the only saving grace. That and Rachel Bilson did a nice job in the eye candy role, although I can’t imagine how a blondish adorable girl who dreams of foreign lands turns into an emo barmaid who never went to college.

The movie is essentially one long introduction to yet another franchise. I guess I’ll forever be looking for the next thing to come out of Doug Liman that captures the excitement of Bourne Identity or Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This movie could have easily melded the thrilling “me against the world” aspects with a little more comedy. Whatever.