Science fiction and fantasy                                            



Jumper

directed by Doug Liman

Jumper poster  
Even when he's not playing Darth Vader, Hayden Christensen manages to project an air of creepiness and menace about himself, as though he's just about to drown some kittens or burn down a children's hospital. So he's not the obvious choice to play David Rice, a young man in difficult circumstances who finds he has the power of teleportation.

Max Thieriot plays the 15-year-old David, your typical school outsider who tends to get picked on. His mother left him when he was 5 and his father is a drunk, so he's fairly isolated. But he does have the friendship of Millie Harris (Rachel Bilson) to sustain him. In an incident when David gets bullied and things go badly wrong he becomes aware of his power and the freedom it gives him.

Fast-forward eight years, and David is living the high life in New York. He can travel anywhere in the world, and he's living the kind of lifestyle that only millionaires can afford, without having to work for it. But all this is about to change when his lavish lifestyle draws the attention of a group calling themselves the Paladins. Paladins exist to hunt jumpers, considering them to be an abomination. David finds himself in the middle of a centuries-old war without the first idea of how to defend himself.

Fortunately for David he encounters another jumper, Griffin (Jamie Bell), a hardened and stand-offish guy who has been fighting back against the Paladins for some time. For David, Griffin represents his best hope of survival against the Paladins.

Jumper is a short, action-packed film replete with gorgeous locations, flashy effects and adrenaline-pumped scenes. This is the sort of film that's designed to engage your eyes but not your brain, and above all to make your pulse race.

There is one scene when we see people dying in some disaster on the TV news. It's obvious at this point that it's within David's power to save them, but he does nothing of the sort. His reaction is skipped past, if you blink you'll more or less miss it. David has what amounts to a superpower, but the ethical questions about the ways he uses it are often in the background, particularly in the early part of this film. Jumper could have been a lot less shallow if some of these issues were explored further. It's fine as 90 minutes of escapism, and it looks good. But this movie is missing some of the details that make the difference between a disjointed series of set pieces and a story.

Film Details

Year: 2008

Categories: Films

  Science fiction

Classification: 12

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson