www.whyville.net Jun 15, 2008 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Movie Review: Jumper

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The Cast

Hayden Christensen - David Rice
Samuel L. Jackson - Roland Cox
Rachel Bilson - Millie Harris
Jamie Bell - Griffin
Diane Lane - Mary Rice
Michael Rooker - William Rice

The Plot

David has loved his best friend Millie ever since they were two years-old. Knowing that her dream is to travel the world, he surprises her by buying her a snow globe of a miniature Eiffel Tower. Bully Mark throws the snow globe into an icy lake and David immediately jumps into the icy patch to retrieve it. He soon begins drowning and realizes that this is the end for him. However, he finds himself in a library -- gasping for air amidst a pile of books. David returns home, "sweet home." His careless father ignores the fact that David is soaking wet and begins ordering him to do his chores. Seeing that there is no emotional connection between himself and his father, David decides to follow in his mother's footsteps by running away from home as she did when he was just five years old. First, David rents a room and begins residing there. But he soon finds himself in trouble again when his landlord is barking at him for his failure to pay the rent. However, David realizes that all the money he needs is available for him -- in banks. Thus, David becomes a bank robber.

A few years later we see David living in a lavish penthouse in New York city, his luxuries by his side. He is able to afford this lifestyle because he has continued to rob banks. In one scene he teleports himself inside a bank to grab a wad of cash, and returns to his home. David feels no regret towards robbing people of their hard earned money. But ruthless Jumper "hunter" Roland is on his trail as he is tipped off about David's antics. Roland visits David at his penthouse and attempts to kill him. Realizing that he is in danger, David runs away once again and returns to his hometown, Ann Arbor, Michigan. David decides to catch up with his childhood friend, Millie, and visits her at her work. He tells Millie that his job involves banking, and whisks her away to Rome.

Who awaits the unsuspecting David in Rome? Roland, of course, who is determined to fulfill his goal of ridding the world of Jumpers. Throughout the movie, David continuously runs away from his problem, Roland. However, he runs away to those who have affected his childhood and present life . . . his parents. When David teleports away from his problems, he turns to old ones. He avoids Roland by returning to Millie. He then runs away from Millie as he learns the all too valuable lesson: problems cannot be avoided and must be faced to be solved.

The Criticism

The special effects were amazing. The movie features terrific shots of some of the world's greatest attractions. Take one scene for example, when David is sunbathing on a sphinx in Egypt. The camera zooms out to show the sphinx in the middle of Egypt, surrounded by pyramids. The soundtrack was also great and fit the scenes well, featuring music from mainstream artists such as The Fray and The Hives. As David is exhilarated from robbing his first bank, the music playing is "Tick Tick Boom" by the Hives, which describe his emotions perfectly. However, these are the only compliment worthy aspects of the film.

The writing is absolutely terrible. The script is mainly at fault for it's cheesy, short and cliched dialogue. Take the scene in which David beats Mark. Throughout the fight, David's sole comment is "I guess I didn't know my own strength." I mean, come on! How many times has this line been said in the past?

The acting was horrendous. Aside from the unworkable script, the actors delivered their lines for what they were -- words on a piece of paper. For starters, casting Hayden Christensen for the title role is a regrettable mistake. Hayden cannot act and needs to upgrade his acting skills because they sure are not meant for the big screen. Rachel Bilson was just as flawed as she spoke her lines in a rushed, exasperated voice. These actors are merely pretty faces with no talent behind them. However, their attractive qualities did not help them either, especially for Rachel Bilson who conveyed no emotions and had a fixed facial expression.

There was no character development throughout the entire movie. It is amazing that these characters with no substance can go through such a storyline and not amount to anything in the end. They are absolutely the same as they were in the beginning! David still remains promiscuous, self-absorbed and ruthless. An audience favors a main character that they can relate to, someone with a heart. Millie only cares about herself and lends her attention to David when he is trying to impress her. For example, David is clearly in anguish and fear when he rescues Millie but she brushes him off and tells him to leave her alone.

When the movie was over, I felt as if there should have been more. I guess that this is a metaphor for the entire movie. Devoted sci-fi movie fans were terribly disappointed with this movie which they had looked forward to for so long; just as I felt unfulfilled and empty at the end of the film. Jumper is nothing more than a fast-paced, fun flick. Don't get be wrong -- it was a great idea at first, but it just did not measure up to everyone's expectations. Once you think about the contents of the flick, you will regret having a brain. The major plot holes, poor writing quality and lagging characters are enough to anger you about the kind of superhero movies that Hollywood is making these days. What angers me even more is that the producers are considering a sequel to this worthless movie.

The Rating


Author's Note: Film reel description:

1 - Jumper movie cover
2 - David Rice hiding from his father, William.
3 - David & Millie
4 - Griffin antagonizes David
5 - Roland is hunting for David


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