Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Jumper (2008)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

What would you do if you could go anywhere just by thinking about it? David Rice is faced with such a question. The first time we see him jump, it’s to save his own life. He’s trapped beneath some ice and is being pulled away. Suddenly, he’s in the Ann Arbor library, still soaking wet, but safe. Abandoned by his mother at the age of five and left with a drunk father, David instantly realizes that he has the power to run away very quickly.

At first, he checks in to some hotel. Rice is able to jump to any location he wants. Instead of using his power for good, or even maybe doing some honest work, David decides to rob a bank. (This point is reinforced when David is presented with an opportunity to save some people trapped in the middle of a raging river, but does nothing.) I remember thinking that robbing a bank seems very high profile. He seemed to miss all of the security cameras, but he did attract the attention of someone named Roland.

Roland likes to pass himself off as an agent of various government agencies. The truth is that he hunts Jumpers. He feels that only God should have the ability to be anywhere and everywhere at once. He also believes that the power that Jumpers have will corrupt them and David is proving to be no exception. Roland is part of a group called the Paladins. Paladins have the ability to keep Jumpers from jumping, which they use to allow them to kill Jumpers.

The entire movie basically ends up being a battle between Roland and David. There is one other Jumper featured in the movie, who’s name is Griffin. The only other Jumper seen in the movie is killed by Roland. Griffin has gotten pretty good at getting away from the Paladins. He likes to stay away from their attention most of the time. David seems to be pretty good at getting away, too. The trouble is that Paladins will also kill loved ones, including family and girlfriends. This really sets up the tension and gives David a reason to go after Roland and not just hide.

I could see the movie being a little better. From what I understand, it’s based on a book in a series, so it may have more movies to follow. However, when the first movie doesn’t do that much to draw you in, there’s no real motivation to see any sequels. There was very little back story in the movie. There are also some elements, like the science of it all missing. There was no sense of where the Jumpers or Paladins came from except that they had been fighting for a long time.

Don’t expect greatness from this movie. Mostly, it’s an action flick. This is why I’m giving it three stars. It definitely has potential, though. I could see the movie being developed into a TV series, much like Highlander. Granted, you wouldn’t have Jumpers fighting each other, but there’s a lot of room to write stuff. This can’t be a stand-alone movie. 

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