What do you get when you mix a platinum idea with a tin-plated execution? A jumbled, witless and frustrating film entitled “Jumper.”
When a lonely, introverted high school student, David Rice (Hayden Christensen) has been pushed to his limits, he discovers that he has the power to teleport himself. Living with an abusive father and abused by bullies at school, Rice seeks refuge in cute classmate, Millie (Rachel Bilson). Upon discovering his “special” powers, Rice leaves his small town evolving into a narcissistic, non-caring adult.
He lives a charmed life, “jumping” from place to place at a moment’s notice, taking what he wants and doing as he pleases. While Rice is living like a god, he gets the attention of those who seek to destroy his kind. Led by Roland (Samuel L. Jackson), they have been hunting down “jumpers” for centuries. As the noose closes around Rice’s neck, he finds an ally in Griffin (Jamie Bell), who shares the same power and has been fighting back. Reuniting with true love, Millie, and on the run from Roland, can Rice survive?
The film’s premise is enticing, ripe with so many opportunities. Even the direction of Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”) is wasted by a script that makes Christensen’s lead character behave in some of the dumbest ways imaginable. As Millie reminds him that he “flunked” out in algebra, that may account for some of the most head-scratching moments caught on film this year.
His character implicates himself with a foolish act against his former tormentor, he constantly passes on countless opportunities to simply tell his love the truth while putting her life in danger and he stabs the only person who can truly help in the back for own selfish reasons.
Jackson once again is the angry, agitated adversary trying to capture and kill our clueless hero – and for once it would have been much deserved. Much of what could have been good about this film is undermined by the brooding, selfish lead and the witless script.
My suggestion is that if you want to see this film, just mentally teleport to a better film and save your money.