A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Jumper

February 15, 2011

Jumper

BAMF!

This is a movie that has some cool effects, interesting fight scenes and a nifty premise, but ultimately feels empty. I want to like this movie. There are many bits of it that are cool. Ultimately, however, I find myself wanting more.

The notion behind the movie is very comic bookish. At fifteen years old a wimpy sensitive kid named David Rice discovers that he can teleport at will. He does what any fifteen year old with magic superpowers would do – leaves his abusive father and hometown and robs a bank to set himself up a life in New York city. Five years later we catch up to David as he jaunts about the world from his Manhattan penthouse to London to Egypt. He can go anywhere and everywhere. Until, that is, he encounters a very angry Samuel L. Jackson who heads a secret society of badasses with all kinds of high-tech equipment who have made it their mission to wipe out all “jumpers” like David.

It’s at this point, about half an hour in, that the movie begins to lose its focus. Just when we should be drawn into it because a whole band of well funded and well organised vigilantes are now hunting our lead character things start to get messy and make less sense. The first thing David does when confronted with a secret group that wants to kill him is jump back to his home town and pick up his high-school crush for a sudden trip to Rome. Because what could be more inconspicuous than an international plane flight paid for all in stolen cash?

Naturally all that this accomplishes is that his girlfriend Millie is now going to be in mortal danger for the remainder of the movie. While David has to repeatedly rescue her from bad guys. Do you know what irritates me most about this whole situation? He let her believe that he had drowned way back when he first disappeared five years ago. What kind of cad is he, and why are we supposed to care about him if he can’t even share his unbelievable super power with his first love?

He does meet a kind of cool if slightly unhinged fellow jumper who very quickly shows him the ropes and pretty much tells him what the climax of the movie will involve. Griffin (the other jumper) may be a sociopath bent on killing any paladins (jumper hunters) he can find, but he’s a much more interesting character than David ever is. He has this totally awesome attack which he uses a couple times that involves grabbing a moving vehicle and jumping the whole damned thing so that it hurtles at his intended target. Awesome! He’s a tortured soul who is bent on revenge for the assassination of his parents. Awesome again! So why does the movie spend so little time with him, and why does he ultimately have no part in the final showdown? Lame!

Indeed the entire climax of the movie is… anticlimactic. David’s final showdown with Roland is pretty cool, but it doesn’t really resolve anything. Then there’s a sort of coda to the movie where he confronts an important figure in his life – except that it has no real impact. There are all kinds of hints about this final confrontation throughout the movie so you kind of expect it to mean something, but it doesn’t really. Meh.

It’s such a pity that this movie has so little impact. As I said before it looks awesome. The jump effects are very cool and the movie has a great pace to it. Samuel L Jackson is fantastic as always and Jamie Bell as Griffin is also fun to watch. Hayden Christensen is far more tolerable as David than he was as the whiny Anakin Skywalker. But his character is so dim witted and bland. Why does he drag Millie into things? Why does he keep putting her into danger? What’s so hard about laying low and being inconspicuous? I want to see more about the jumpers and the paladins… I just don’t particularly want to see these ones.

All the cooless, style and potential of this movie evaporates through the many gaping plot holes leaving something airy and insubstantial. The ending feels as though it was the writers that jumped away rather than finish it. For a few instants here and there I see a really great comic-book-inspired movie here once in a while – but then in a puff of smoke it’s gone again. So sad.

February 15, 2011 - Posted by | daily reviews | , ,

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