Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Review of Jumper

Jumper is a funny little movie. It is billed as a science/action film based on the science fiction novel Jumper by Steven Gould. Having seem the movie I have to ask: "Why?"

I mean the movie is nothing like the book. Outside maybe the first 10 mins, it's a totally new story altoghter. In fact there are differences even in the first 10 mins as David Rice's father isn't as bad as in the book. Near the end the father even stood up to the Paladins led by Roland Cox (Samuel L. Jackson) and was left for dead by them. So if you had read the book, ignore it. It has nothing to do with the movie.

Having said all that, the movie itself isn't that bad. The movie is about David Rice (Hayden Christensen), a man who can teleport himself anywhere by using his thoughts. Called a Jumper, David first uses his ability to rob banks and lived a life traveling across the world at a whim. His lifestyle abruptly ends when he returns home to find Roland Cox waiting for him. The Paladins are a religious group who are tracking and killing every Jumper they can find, believing that only God should be able to be everywhere and Jumpers are too powerful to be allowed to exist. David escaped and with his girlfriend Millie (Rachel Bilson) went to Rome.

In Rome, David was tracked down by the Paladins again but escaped again. This time he had help from another Jumper named Griffin (Jamie Bell). Far more experienced than David, he told David of a centuries-old war between Jumpers and Paladins, and how Paladins will stop at nothing to find Jumpers, including killing family members in the process. That's what happened to Griffin and he is trying to track down and kill as many of the Paladins as he can.

Fearing for Millie’s safety, David returns to Rome and puts her on a plane to Detroit, all the while keeping Millie in the dark about his powers. At this time, Roland met up with David's father (Michael Rooker) who refused to help him catch his son. Roland left him for dead.

David and Griffin decide to "team up" for an attack against the Paladins. After a long-running battle, including a fight between David and Griffin, David dumped Roland in a cave in the Grand Canyon.

As you can tell, the story itself isn't bad and the idea of a hero/villain who can teleport is a winner. However, the film received generally negative reviews from critics and I can see why. From the time David and Griffin decide to team up, the action gets very confusing. I still have no idea what is suppose to happen in the fight between Griffin and the Paladins. It was that confusing. It is disappointing as it is supposed to be a sci-fi action picture. An action picture with little coherence in it's action scenes...not a good thing.

However if you ignore the last third of the movie, it did do enough to get your interest. In the final scene, David locates his mother Mary who is a Paladin herself. He learned that his first jump was when he was five and that was the reason why she left her husband and son, so she wouldn't have to kill David. Yes, the smell of sequel in the air. I'll be watching for it.

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