20th Century Fox
June 10, 2008
Jumper is an awful train-wreck of a film. Consider that in the tiresome opening expositional dialogue the main character calls the audience chumps. You’ll quickly learn that he means you’re all chumps for having rented or bought this movie.
The main problem with this film is the moral ambiguity of the characters. The main character David Rice is played by Hayden Christensen who discovers he has the ability to teleport. The visual effect is pretty cool when he jumps
. But like a comic book super-villain David decides to use his power to rob banks and party. By about 21 years old he eventually robs and steals enough to earn himself a swanky condo in New York City filled with expensive toys. Basically David is a brat who lives a hedonistic lifestyle. He needs to be beaten down by the consequences of his actions.
The whole teleportation thing is interesting. The moral question of what would a young man really
do with such power would be explored further by a better movie but here it feels flat. Jumper’s David is self-centered, whining nitwit. I’d like to remind you of another movie-teleporter named Nightcrawler from the film X-men 2 who is a far more interesting character in a much better film.
We eventually meet Roland played by Samuel L. Jackson who has been hunting down David along with other Jumpers. Apparently they’re a kind of sub-species of human a bit like X-men’s mutants. I assumed Roland was the hero and was going to bring the Jumpers to justice. However, Roland is a bit too heavy handed and the character quickly descends into stereotypical territory. I won’t give anything more away about Roland and his associates. Needless to say we’re expected to side with David and a new friend (another Jumper) as they rob and steal throughout the film without a thought to the drag these Jumpers are to society.
The final straw for me was David telling his new Jumper friend that they’re a bit like Marvel Team-Up. That’s a comic series by Marvel where two super heroes team up for a single story.
Marvel Team-Up ran from 1972 to 1985, it’s the kind of material a thirty-something screen-play writer would relate to, not a young man fresh out of high-school in 2008. But hokey dialogue is just one of this film’s many shortcomings. The main problem with David’s Marvel Team-Up line is that he’s not a hero at all – he’s a villain. There was a comic series more appropriate to he and his friend, it was called Marvel Super-Villain Team-Up.
The waste of film wraps up with David risking his own life to rescue a girl he had a crush on in high-school. To top off a contrived puppy-love subplot thrown into the story David has to risk facing Roland and his tech-toys that are sure to kill him. Without giving anything away, we’re expected to see David as a hero because he rescues the girl and for the first time in the film shows restraint with his powers.
I’m not buying it! David is a stupid and selfish little brat. The characters in this film are tissue cut-outs alternating between stereotypes and nonsensical contradictions. Although Jackson is always entertaining he’s just a cookie cutter sadistic villain in this film and we have no idea why.
Video resolution: 1080p
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
I’ve got to hand it to 20th Century Fox’s most recent Blu-ray releases, they’ve been of consistent high quality. The visuals in this film are well done even the jumping effect is a sight to behold. When the characters push the limits of their power it’s with great visual effect. I loved the auto race through Tokyo! From the trailer you may have seen David sitting atop the Sphinx with a striking, clear blue sky above and pyramids of Egypt adorning the peripheral of the shot. The images are positively flawess without a hint of noise or compression. It looks positively beautiful in 1080P. If there is one saving grace for this film it’s the remarkable visual quality.
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
The presence of a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack often pushed it over the edge for me. The mere presence of a high-resolution audio track is often enough to make me rent it. The soundtrack is up to the sci-fi action material with plenty of cool sound effects to go along perfectly with the great visuals. You'll find creative uses for your surround channels and the subwoofer will also be called upon with great effect. Nothing really stands out acoustically as an audio demo-moment in the film but it is of consistently high quality.
An audio track is provided by director Doug Liman, screenplay writer Simon Kinberg and producer Lucas Foster provide the commentary.
Doug Liman’s Jumper: Uncensored: (35 minutes) This documentary covers some of the troubles they had making this movie. You’ll get a lot of candid behind-the-scenes looks at the making of this film.
Jumping Around the world:
Making an Actor Jump:
Jumping from Novel to Film: Past present and future of Jumper:
(8 minutes) I knew nothing about the Steven Gould novel before seeing this movie. Director Doug Liman made it clear he took a lot of liberties with the story to make the film. So, maybe the novel isn't as bad as this movie. It’s interesting to see the audacity in Liman talking about subsequent sequels they’re going to make of this movie. This documentary shows Liman and screenwriters gleefully pointing out parts of the script that will be saved for part 2. Clearly they couldn’t smell the stink for the turd already in their hands.
Animated Graphic Novel:
Jumpstart: David’s Story: (8 minutes) A short story that delves into David’s past done in adequately drawn animation. I applauded it when this was done for I am Legend, but this is a waste of time.
Previs: Future Concepts:
It’s nice to see Fox offering digital copies of newer films on Blu-ray. The studio did this for Juno and Alien vs Predator Requiem.
BD Profile 1.1
Jumping Around the World:
BD profile 1.1 player owners get extra content integrated into the film. It’s basically the same stuff you’ll see in the featurette of the same name.
The disc is well done from a video/audio perspective with lots of special features and even some animated back story. Fox gets extra kudos for giving this stinker of a movie the full treatment instead of burying it in a mediocre package. Sadly, the movie has one interesting hook, a look at what a kid might do with this incredible power. Unfortunately the kid is a real boob and not even the Samuel L. Jackson can put him out of our misery.
I can only guess this might appeal to teenagers and pre-teens. But viewers should be sternly warned that if they ever got teleportation powers like David, they should use them to rescue people from sinking ships and other disasters instead of using it to be a burden on society so they can party.