Jumper (DVD, 2008, 2-Disc Set) Reviews
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Jumper (DVD, 2008, 2-Disc Set)

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Jumper — It's a So-So Marvel Team-Up

Jun 30, 2008 (Updated Jul 2, 2008)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Interesting premise; special effects are good

Cons:Christensen is still bland; script needs work; lots of unanswered questions

The Bottom Line: I still think there's potential to Jumper if sequels are involved, but otherwise this average film is enough to kill some time... or brain cells... whatever comes first.

My wife had to ask me if I knew what David Rice (Hayden Christensen) said when he mentioned something about a “Marvel Team-Up”. I seriously had to laugh because that line came out of nowhere. Then when I realized who had a hand in the screenplay, it all made sense. Leave it to David S. Goyer, writer of Batman Begins and a comic book writer, to throw in a comic book reference right under people’s noses. Marvel Team-Up was a comic book that featured two or more characters in one story, mostly Spider-Man and someone else. When David tells Griffen (Jamie Bell) that it’s time for a Marvel Team-Up, I almost peed my pants. But that’s about the most excitement that was generated for me in Jumper, a 2008 movie directed by Doug Liman about a person who has the ability to teleport to any location.

David Rice discovers he has the ability to teleport, or “Jump”, from one place to another when he escaped from drowning in an icy river. Unhappy with his life, he runs away from home. Eight years later, David is living a carefree life full of riches from the money he has stolen from banks. His days are spent jumping around from continent to continent. One instant he’s at a bar in London. Another time he’s surfing the waves in Fiji. He does all of this without any consequence. At least he thinks so.

Unbeknownst to David, his activities are garnered the attention of many people. One in particular is Roland Cox (Samuel L. Jackson), the leader of a group called “Paladins”. They are religious fanatics who have been hunting down Jumpers since “the beginning” and killing them, because according to Roland, “Only God should have this power”. But David also has an ally (sort of) in Griffen, another fellow Jumper who is after Roland and wants to kill him.

Griffin: "Paladins kill Jumpers, I kill Paladins, class dismissed."

It becomes a bit messy for David when his identity is discovered. His father is seriously injured. His childhood crush, Millie (Rachel Bilson), gets caught in the middle of the war between Jumpers and Paladins. But more importantly, the secret of his mother’s disappearance is revealed.

Jumper is an adaptation of the science fiction novel of the same name by Steven Gould but it really feels like a comic book come to life. The most obvious comparison is to the X-Men, which has a very uncanny resemblance in theme. Mutantkind has been ostracized and hunted down in the X-Men world by those who see them as different and odd, sometimes to the point of death. Jumper follows a similar theme, but there is no explanation as to why they are being hunted by the Paladins other than the fact that they “eventually go bad”.

The premise is sound but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Hayden Christensen has a bit more fun with this movie since his Star Wars days but his acting is still as wooden as ever. I don’t know if he was the right man for the role to play the lead. Jamie Bell, on the other hand, has charisma and screen presence with his frantic delivery and manic persona. Rachel Bilson is the token damsel-in-distress and Samuel L. Jackson is just… well, he’s just Samuel L. Jackson. It’s funny to see Christensen and Jackson go at it again, ala Anakin Skywalker vs. Mace Windu.

The ending of the movie is so open-ended that it leaves so many possibilities for many sequels, and there is no doubt that a sequel will be made. There are too many unanswered questions for this movie to standalone, with the number one explanation as to how Jumpers acquire such abilities. Jumper could have been so much more and still has the potential to take it to the next level if a franchise is derived out of this film. Too bad that potential is not realized with this film as it really only scratches the surface. Maybe the ability to jump back in time is needed to make things better. Oh wait, I need a DeLorean for that. Never mind.


This is part of my Funny Pages Write-Off that I have extended until the end of July. It's all about the Marvel Team-Up.

Recommend this product? Yes

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Based on Steven Gould's critically acclaimed novel, JUMPER leaps onto the screen courtesy of director Doug Liman. David (Hayden Christiansen) has inex...
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