The sci-fi "thriller" Jumper can be described in one word: empty. Pretty much everything about this movie is devoid of any real energy, passion or substance. The performances are stale and lifeless, the plot is interesting in theory but fails in execution and the visuals aren't cool enough to keep us engaged. The plot is boringly similar to that of Heroes (which is itself like a clone of X-Men), and yet Heroes is so much more enjoyable. At least Heroes features intriguing characters who might band together for a higher purpose. Lacking both good characters and any kind of higher purpose, Jumper just lays there.
Here's the plot: David (Christensen) is a "Jumper," someone who can teleport himself. The Jumpers of the world are at odds with the Paladins, and one Paladin in particular, Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) is on a mission to rid the world of all Jumpers everywhere. In his pursuit, he has no problem killing all of the jumpers' loved ones. Hence, David's lady friend Millie (Rachel Bilson) is in danger, and David must protect her as well as elude Roland's grasp. That's it for the story, but for more of my thoughts on the film,
In a seriously empty movie, the emptiest part is Hayden Christensen on whom I think we'd be hard-pressed to find a pulse. He must have been stoked to get this part that requires so little of him because this way he can be comatose onscreen and people are left to wonder if it's the actor or the material. I suspect it's a little bit of both, though Christensen definitely needs to be held accountable for his dismal performance. It angers me that he can't even be bothered to, say, add any kind of inflection to his voice. As though we're the ones wasting his time and not the other way around.
And in tired repetition of an old formula, the main female character is helpless and outrageously stupid and the lone black character is the face of evil. David's mother, played by Diane Lane, is also a hateful character. Christensen makes it impossible for us to care about David, so that leaves one interesting character: David's fellow Jumper Griffin, played with some degree of liveliness by Jamie Bell. When the audience is longing to find out more about this secondary character to the point of being annoyed with the protagonists for getting in the way of his story, there's a problem. Unless your eyes need some exercise in rolling, I think it's best you jump away from this movie.
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Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox