Directed by: Doug Liman
Premise: A young man with teleporting abilities (Hayden Christensen), also known as a jumper, lives a life of luxury, supporting himself by robbing banks, until he encounters a fraternity of people who are attempting to exterminate all of those like him.
What Works: Jumper works best when it’s having fun, such as the scenes of Christensen’s character using his powers to rob banks or travel the globe.
What Doesn’t: The Achilles Heel of the film is its lack of character development. Compared to the X-Men films, which include characters with similar powers, Jumper does not delve into the personal consequences of the character’s abilities. We are shown that he is isolated and sad, but the film does not explore that beyond a superficial level. At the same time, the film disregards Samuel L. Jackson’s character and his organization of jumper-killers, ignoring the how and the why, leaving him to snarl mediocre dialogue. The conflict between the jumpers and the jumper hunters is terribly underwritten and there is little or no conflict between them until the very end. Because the film does not delve into the psyche of Christensen’s character and fails to fully sketch the antagonists of the story, Jumper is left in an empty quandary of disconnected scenes where the jumpers spend their time teleporting between international vacation spots from Egypt to Rome to London. Even these scenes are not all that interesting because the film puts no limitations on the jumper’s abilities and the omnipotence of the characters kills the drama.
Bottom Line: Jumper is an average science fiction action film. It is more invested in putting out scenarios for the characters to teleport to rather than advancing story and makes for a disposable piece of Saturday afternoon entertainment.
Episode: #179 (February 17, 2008)