For those of you unfamiliar with the story here's how it goes:
Our story begins with our typical brooding loner wearing a hoodie named David. David is a high school (for lack of a better word) loser who has a thing for a girl in school named Millie. Now I say he is a loser in that he has no friends aside from Millie and all the other kids proceed to pick on him, calling him names and just overall directing him to become a future suicidal depressed desk-worker who drowns his problems in alcohol and spends his precious spare time writing posts about movies for a blog site, or an ax murderer, but hey, anything for a cheap laugh and boosting your own self esteem, right?
David buys Millie a nice snow globe and intends to give it to her, as a gift. But wait, what's this over the horizon? Oh dear! It's douche jock #675, he likes Millie too, and doesn't like David. . . . What's that fiend doing now!? *GASP* He threw the snow globe onto the frozen river! The FIEND! Oh no now Millie will never get it . . .
What? No, David no! That's lunacy! Don't walk onto the frozen ice! That's foolishness! As soon as David grabs the snow globe, make sure you're sitting down for this next part: the ice breaks and he falls through. The funeral was nice, but David's still dead. The End.
Oh, right. Samuel L Jackson has yet to make an appearance. Guess we'd better continue the movie. Hmmmm . . . what if the kid can teleport instantly from one place to another? *Poof*
And thus our main character discovers his power of "Jumping." It turns out certain people in our world are born with the natural ability to teleport anywhere in an instant effortlessly. Teleporting is called "jumping" and those who can do it are called "Jumpers," (college-level stuff I know, but you'll catch up.)
So David disappears for awhile. His dad is not incredibly supportive (We see him do nothing but yell at David for getting the carpet wet for the first 20+ minutes of the movie, despite the fact that his son might be going through hypothermia. (He can tough it out. Builds character.) And with David's mom having *jumped* ship (let the booing commence) when David was 5, David doesn't have much reason to stay home when he can go anywhere.
David now masters his power of jumping and decides to rob a bank. He claims he won't steal much, and even leaves IOUs for the bank and police and Jumper police to track him (but we'll come back to them.)
One decked out penthouse later our loveable David transforms into the scourge of Star Wars himself- no, not Jar-Jar. That's right! It's Anakin Skywalker from Episode II and III. Dear Lord Eject and get your money back now.
David gets Millie in trouble as Roland holds her hostage to get to him (And right after he slept with her, what a **** blocker . . .)
David teams up with another Jumper named Griffin to take down Roland once and for all. (very long story short, but I'm filling alot of pages here)
Jumper is a Doug Liman film (Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Borne Identity) that stars Christian Bale (Star Wars II, III and *shudders* the rerelease of VI) and Samuel L. Jackson (every movie ever) based off a 1992 science fiction novel by Diane Lane, who you might remember from Lonesome Dove as Lorena Wood (Never seen it), Murder at 1600 (The Wesley Snipes film. Seen bits and pieces) and as Judge Hershey from Judge Dredd (Never see- wait, WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY!?)
-several quotations of "I am the Laughugh (law)" later-
Sorry, where were we? Holy Crap! Judge Hershey wrote a sci fi book!? This chick is hardcore! But apparently this movie is only loosely based on the book, and was actually re-written right before final production. So how does the movie hold up (keeping in mind that I have never read the book)
Opinions and Review
I felt like the movie started off really strong, with David and Millie having some good chemistry, and actually feeling sympathetic for David. Not that I'm saying the performance was Oscar-worthy by any means, and David is kind of bland, but I think that's what the character is supposed to come across as: Someone with very little social skills, that or Christiansen's blandness rubbed off on the actor playing the younger version of him . . .
The kids at school are calling him Rice Ball throughout the movie when they appear. Why do they call him rice ball? What is the context of that? Is it because he's white and super pale? did he choke on a clump of rice and get ridiculed for it? Why isn't this explained? I feel like this is something that's explained in the book or a deleted scene. Either way, this detracts from my movie watching experience and should've been dumped or explained.
Another instance of this is the fact that David teleports to the library when he first jumps, and one other time in the movie. I feel like there's some explanation here, like David always went to the library to be safe from his dad, when he got abused to much, or maybe he really loved reading . . . but otherwise I feel the only explanation is a poster that says "Escape to your local Library." Weak. Really though, so far we have very few nitpicky problems and overall the movie isn't bad. I feel like the time skip is when everything comes crashing down.
Now one thing you should know about me is I HATE CHRISTIAN BALE. His acting is bland, his characters whiny, and this movie is what really pushed him from dislike to hate status for me.
The first thing (Christiansen) David does is head to England and snog it out with a blonde chick. Classy guys, real classy. I feel like this is just sleazy. Now I'm not completely 100% adverse to having movies imply that sex is going on, but this just feels dirty. Even when he finally gets it on with Millie it doesn't feel right. It feels like a one night stand. I don't know why particularly. Maybe it's the acting, either way, this does NOT feel like a near-perfect chemistry that Ironman displayed between Tony and Pepper. It feels wrong, I felt more chemistry between the high school actors.
Up next we have Roland, the bad guy. This guy is a cool villain, albeit archetypal. His one goal is to kill jumpers. One of his lines is "I hate Jumpers." He is a typical Terminator (as I'll refer them) meaning he won't negotiate, he rarely tires, and will not stop until his goal is accomplished. This makes for a nice bad guy who we can hate, he'll hunt your family, he'll kick your puppy, he'll club a baby seal with a whale and make the bones into a toothpick for fun. Jackson does a good job playing this character, but as always, I'm painfully aware I'm watching Samuel L Jackson. I didn't really ever believe he was someone else despite the white hair . . .
Finally for characters we have Griffin *Wild cheering* played by Jamie Bell (the kid on the ship in Jackson's King Kong) *polite applause* Griffin all around does a great job playing the closed off, lost-my-parents type character and seems to have the most fun in this movie. Also, he's just plain BA. No real complaints here. No real nitpicks, but also no Oscars. Just tons of fun.
And speaking of tons of fun we finally come to the special effects. These are really what made the movie. I'm a huge Nightcrawler fan from x-men and seeing teleporters fighting everyone else makes me salivate out of awesome, pulling off some really cool and creative stuff. For example, the best scene in the movie is when Griffin does a mego teleport punch into Roland's face that makes him go flying. The jumpers are always coming out of jumps with a little momentum, but what of you Portal Gun that momentum and follow that momentum with a punch . . . oooooooooh good stuffs, maynard.
Overall though, even though this movie is a decent B-lister sleeper hit, all I see when I watch it is a ball of wasted potential. It's not bad, but it makes me sad because with decent writing and . . . well pretty much any other actor ever for adult David, this movie would've been phenomenal. as it stands, I would not spend more than $3 (not counting netflix) to see this movie.
Fun, great special effects, phoned-in story, bad acting
Buy it, Borrow it or Bag it:
Borrow this from a friend or rent it, do not buy it for full price (not that you can anymore)