I must admit, Hayden Christensen is almost as bad as Keanu Reeves. He, along with Lucas' meddling helped ruin episodes 2 & 3 for me.
'Jumper': Who told Hayden Christensen he could act?
By Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:02/14/2008 01:40:46 AM PST
In "Jumper," the time-space continuum is no match for Hayden Christensen, who plays David Rice, an ordinary boy in Michigan who one day discovers that he can teleport himself across a room or to the other side of the world in the blink of an eye. He, and others like him, "jump" through wormholes, pulling objects such as a Mercedes-Benz, a double-decker bus and even part of a building through the hole with them.
In fact, the only force on Earth so dense that it apparently can't be moved even by the movie's special effects is Christensen's wooden acting. After bringing the second "Star Wars" trilogy to its knees as the inert Anakin Skywalker, his performance here threatens the very fabric of time and space.
With all its sudden shape-shifting, it's not surprising that the story creates a constant sense of dislocation that's disruptive to the narrative. But as he demonstrated in his last picture, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," director Doug Liman is adept at a kind of hyper-realism in which heroes may have fantastic skills, but they aren't necessarily all that heroic. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, for instance, were top-notch assassins, and in "Jumper," David Rice is a bank robber.
The movie is at some pains to show off the limitless possibility of David's life, and so we follow him through an evening out as he jumps from New York to a London nightclub, followed by big-wave surfing in Fiji and then on to lunch atop the head of the Great Sphinx. From a similarly masterful promontory, he reminds us in the long narration that opens the film that once he was "a normal person, a chump just like you." Awww, go on.
David's life resembles a video game, and so does the movie. His super-power is the equivalent of hitting the ESC key on a computer, and that's what he does over and over again. As a character, David seems less interested in propelling himself forward than fleeing the scene, and while this impulse to scram worked for "The Fugitive," it's less attractive on him.
His nemesis is a reverse on the usual albino bad guy, a black cat with white fur named Roland, played by Samuel L. Jackson. "I hate jumpers," Roland says, before teleporting one of them straight to hell with a sword. He's the leader of a group known as Paladins, who "have been killing jumpers . . . since medieval times."
Roland represents some malign form of religious fundamentalism, declaring that "only God" should have the power to do what jumpers can do. But this murderous incantation doesn't adequately explain the enmity between Paladins and jumpers, and we're expected to simply accept as a given that anybody who's constantly running away must have something to run away from.
One of the least satisfying aspects of "Jumper" is David's insistence on keeping his powers a secret from Millie (Rachel Bilson), the girl he's adored since they were kids. Bilson, whose eyes are brown with pupils the size of half-dollars, attempts to bring some heat to her exchanges with Christensen, but you can't light a fire when the wood is all wet.
Rated: PG-13 (sequences of intense action violence, some profanity, brief sexuality)
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Rachel Bilson, Jamie Bell, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane
Director: Doug Liman
Writers: David S. Goyer, Jim Uhls, Simon Kinberg (based on the novel by Steven Gould)
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes