Friday, March 14, 2008

MOVIEW REVIEW: Jumper (2008)

2008 Action/Sci-Fi
STARRING:Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson.
WRITTEN BY David S. Goyer & Jum Uhls, based on the novel by Steven C. Gould

If Jumper succeeds in one area, it will be to make viewers want to read the book, since it is unquestionably a very intriguing twist on a recycled-yet-cool concept. But as far as the movie goes, it's a great concept that tripped at the finish line. Well, actually, tripped all through the race track.

The story follows David, a kid from a broken home whose life is saved when discovering the ability to teleport. His mastering of this unique power allows him to escape his home front and forge a dream life for himself, one where the entire planet is his playground. His new lifestyle however puts him in the path of a secret society of quasi-religious fanatics bent on annihilating his kind, and a fellow "Jumper" who fights them back.

Although the visuals F/X were bashed by critics all over, they provide jawropping sceneries and actions scenes, which is almost enough to make a good movie. The viewer truly feels swept along with the hero when he jumps, dizziness and all.

What makes it veer into lousy-movie territory though is "Manakin" Skywalker (hopefully about to drop out of sight) as the lead, and very poor narrative development. Interesting characters are showcased with walking-tree performances to support them, save for Jamie Bell who litterally explodes with charisma in each of his scenes; Sam Jackson phones-in one of his rare bad guy roles, Micheal Rooker is given nothing to work with and Diane Lane shows up for little else but to pick up her monthly paycheck. Along those lines, mysterious elements are introduced to great viewer-interest only to be left unexplained or unused - A ritual knifed wielded by Sam Jackson which we never learn anything about, David's mother who could have been the next Darth Vader, the anti-hero Griffin who's storyline is left litterally "hanging", a mention of centuries-old conflicts that are never exposed and the origin of the power itself which is never explained. The story (and film) ends abruptly with no resolution and VERY little satisfaction, as if it was only the pilot of a yet-unproduced TV show.

Still an entertaining film, Jumper should be seen with low expectations and with a focus on the few strengths, which are the awesome visuals and the always-amazing Jamie Bell as badass jumper Griffin - who most definitely should've been the true star of this movie.

Final score on the CC Scale: 2 out of 5

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