about a young guy who can magically teleport to anywhere in the world
merely by thinking it, is a film that is as bland and good-looking as its
star, Hayden Christensen who played Young Darth Vader in
the Star Wars prequels.
Confined to the small screen, Jumper seems even
more mediocre and inconsequential than it did on the big screen. Part of
the problem is that the film has an unlikable anti-hero and its star
(Christensen) lacks the charisma to make audiences actually like or care
for the character.
Perhaps if he switched roles with the more animated and
lively Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot,
King Kong) who plays a ?sidekick? of sorts, things might have worked
out better for Jumper. The other problem though is that the movie seems to
be in a rush to get things over and done with - as if director Doug Lyman
(who scored hits with Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith)
was in a hurry to teleport right out of there and collect his pay check.
The action scenes are simply edited too fast and are often difficult to
But ultimately the movie's shallowness undermines it and
one is left with a so what? vibe when the end credits roll.
THE DISC: Good DVD, mediocre ? if not downright
poor ? movie.
What makes Jumper
unique as production is that it is one of those rare productions in which
downtown Toronto isn't made to pass off as Tokyo city centre. David, the
hero of Jumper, teleported right across the world and so it seems
did the film crew who actually went to the ?bother? of filming in exotic
locales such as Egypt, Paris, Tokyo and so forth. Interestingly enough for
such a big-budget movie director Lyman resorted to the sort of guerrilla
tactics which cash-strapped indie film-makers usually resort to.
in Tokyo and Paris for instance were filmed under uncontrolled
conditions. The director simply followed the movie's two stars around the
streets of these cities with a hand-held camera.
Those are actual
pedestrians and not extras one sees milling about in the background.
(Apparently Lyman couldn't get the required permits for filming, and thus
opted for this highly illegal route. Plus there were budget restraints.)
One ?chase scene? involving a sports car was actually filmed in ordinary
traffic, the movie's stunt drivers sharing the road with everyday
commuters. These making-of featurettes are quite worthwhile seeing just
On the audio commentary the director and producers
supply a lot of input into their various creative decisions. Apparently
nothing but the original concept remained of author Stephen Gould's novel
of the same name. The plot involving so-called ?paladins? that hunt and
kill down the teleporting kids (or jumpers) is wholly their invention.
They also let drop that they have enough ideas for another two movies in
Lyman however spends a lot of time defending creative
decisions that turned out to be wrong in hindsight. If you are going to
have an anti-hero who actually insults the audience in his voice-over, at
least make sure that you cast someone who isn't entirely bland and
unremarkable in that role . . .
WORTH IT? The extras on this disc are actually
more interesting than the movie itself. Check it out if you're a film
student. Otherwise you're probably better off reading Gould's original