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“Jumper” doesn’t leap into greatness

Anywhere is possible. At least that’s the tagline of 2008’s first action/adventure film titled “Jumper”. Sadly, it seems that “Jumper” is restricted by more than just an average premise and conventional characters.

They’re called jumpers because a genetic anomaly has enabled them to teleport themselves anywhere through time and space. For centuries a war has existed to bring down people with these special talents. With only one explanation for the film’s otherwise clever idea, it seems more like it was constructed for the sole purpose of delivering visually driven action sequences.

Our jumper for the evening is played by Hayden Christensen. His character’s name is David Rice, but with such a fixation on the same flat performance, we’ll call his character Hayden. To make things even more monotonous, we get another typical persona performance by Samuel L. Jackson as the villain; whose silver hairdo looks annoyingly like a helmet. Not even a redeeming performance by Rachel Bilson as Hayden’s high school sweetheart, could have revived “Jumper” from being cliched and simple.

“Jumper” is a film that takes a big leap, but it lands somewhere short of memorable. While it boasts such grandiose locations, “Jumper” looks unnecessarily low-budget. Most of its problems lie in the fact that it fails to diversify its action sequences. Yes, we understand they can teleport, and yes, it’s engaging to watch for the first half, but “Jumper” escapes too quickly from scenes that evoke a meaningful passion with its main characters. Inevitably this forces us to end up with mindless action sequences that do nothing but repeat themselves.

It was recently revealed in an interview with Rotten Tomatoes that “Jumper” director Doug Liman carries the prestigious Hollywood dream of one day helming a James Bond film. Having been credited as creator of the Jason Bourne series, Liman seemed more than capable in making those dreams come true. However, with “Jumper” added to his credits, Liman’s dreams seem less aspiring. With a Bond film’s richly exotic locales, stunning action sequences, and newly character driven storylines, anywhere truly is possible. For “Jumper,” let’s just say, “keep dreaming.”

Two stars out of four

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