International Writers Magazine: Anywhere is Possible
Director - Doug Liman
Writers - David S. Goyer & Jim Uhls
Starring Hayden Christensen, Samuel L Jackson
a fast-paced, effect-laden cinematic trailer Jumper vowed to be
one of the most promising science fiction/action adventure releases
of 2008. The premise of its plot is seductive yet simple; Imagine
being able to transport anywhere your heart desires simply by visualising
This is the power
of the films protagonist David Rice (Christensen), he is able to indulge
in his every wildest fantasy, from robbing banks without the danger
of bypassing security, to purchasing lavish penthouses, to sleeping
with curvaceous London women and vacating to Fiji before leaving any
contact details. However, as is often the case in such "super power"
narratives Davids dreams quickly turn into a nightmare as he unwillingly
becomes dragged into an ancient war between those like him, and their
sworn enemies Paladins, a government sanctioned agency determined to
capture and eliminate the "Jumpers".
Despite its intriguing premise Jumper seems to fall flat on its face
in many key areas. Firstly its acting is decisively mediocre with the
extremely wooden, Vader-wrecking Hayden Christian in the lead role,
and with that annoying chipmunk from the O.C Rachael Bilson supporting
as the films love interest. Even Samuel L. Jacksons appearance
as ominous villain Roland fails to impress, and considering his usual
talent for entertaining and involving dialogue, it suggests that the
scriptwriting and direction of this film are far from masterful.
So with this in mind lets consider the visual and narrative elements
of the film. The film is dreadfully superficial throughout with its
narrative lacking a great deal of substance, character development and
explanation in numerous areas which can feel extremely frustrating at
times. Visually the action sequences are good, and well choreographed,
however they are still far from mind blowing and offer the audience
very little that hasnt already been seen in similar past releases.
On the whole the film is not bad; it is just not great, nor particularly
memorable. It does however show room for development, though whether
this development manages to improve Jumper will remain unseen until
the emergence of its inevitable sequels. If you visit the cinema craving
a fast-paced, uncomplicated, action romp then you are likely to thoroughly
enjoy this movie, however if you are seeking an intelligent, original
science fiction masterpiece than may I suggest that you "jump"
to another cinema screen.
Calvin March 2008
Calvin is studying for his Creative Writing Degree at the University
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