Jumper, based on a series of teenage sci-fi novels, follows the life of a young man, Davey, from the point he discovers that he can teleport, to the point he discovers that certain people are out to kill him, and that he’s not the only one who can teleport.
What starts off as a coming of age tale with the clichéd broken home and high school crush turns quickly into a special effects superhero action blockbuster with a difference!
The difference? The superheros in question, the Jumpers, aren’t really superheroes. Sure, they have the super cool ability to teleport anywhere, instantly. But being all young guys, they use this ability to rob banks and live the high life, globally.
It’s starting to sound boring I hear you say, and it does slow down in the middle, but only so it can change gear and accelerate into an action packed second act, where we see the good superheros battling the bad superheroes, except there are no good people in this movie, really.
And what a battle it is, with special effects straight out of X-Men 2 (remember the blue dude?) and the macho talent of Samuel L Jackson, the action is pretty much non-stop.
The plot, whilst containing its fair share of holes, has enough twists to keep any action fan happy, without having to stretch the grey matter too much.
But what really sets it apart, is it attempt at being realistic. As I said there are no real good guys. Hayden Christensen (Davey) is the closest we get to a good guy in this movie, but the first thing he does when he discovers his powers is rob a bank.
But that’s the first thing anyone would probably do, given the options available to Davey.
With only 16% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, I think it’s this realism, this fallibility, that Doug Liman has given his superheroes that is confusing the critics. People with superpowers are supposed to do good. With great power comes great responsibility we were told in SpiderMan. But in Jumper we are confronted with selfish, arrogant superheroes looking after number 1.
Personally I think it’s sheer brilliance, and is a fresh take on the genre. It has everything I could ask for in the action and special effects department, and the twists got me thinking about possibilities not explored in the movie.
It’s a popcorn movie for sure, but a great night out.
Food for thought
“Did you think you could go on living like this without consequences? There are always consequences.” –Roland (Samuel L. Jackson)
The roles of Davey and Millie were originally cast with Tom Sturridge and Teresa Palmer. After 2 months of filming and inflating production costs, Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson were recast as the leads.
Eminem reportedly turned down an offer to star in the lead role. But an MTV report quoted director Doug Liman saying that his plan to have Eminem in the movie was dropped right after he met Hayden Christensen.
The crew was allowed to film inside the Colosseum for three days under the condition that no equipment could be placed on the ground. Shooting was allowed only between 6.30 and 8.30 am and again at 3.30 pm to 5.30 pm to avoid disturbing tourists. The only lighting allowed was natural sunlight.
The movie “Jumper” takes place in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The high school depicted in the movie is called Huron High School and area teenagers were allowed an open call to appear as extras in the movies scenes in and around the school.
Roland Cox’s name in the original novel was Brian Cox. Most likely it was changed to avoid referring to the actor Brian Cox.
David mentions King Kong while on the Empire State Building. Jamie Bell who plays Griffin in this movie, played Jimmy in the movie King Kong (2005).
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: M – Violence & Offensive Language.
Duration: 88 mins.
Genre: Adventure, Science Fiction,Thriller.
Actors: Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane, Rachel Bilson.
Director: Doug Liman.
Release Date: Out Now.