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Review byMatthew Turner13/02/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Doug Liman's sci-fi thriller is stylish and fast-paced but it's let down by a messy script, a frustratingly under-developed plot and a wooden performance by Hayden Christensen.

What's it all about?
As a teenager, David Rice (Max Thierot) discovers he has the ability to teleport himself anywhere after he nearly drowns in a lake. Several years later, David (now played by Hayden Christensen) has developed his powers and is living the high life, travelling all over the world in a blink of an eye and robbing banks to support his high-flying lifestyle.

However, when David meets another young man with the same abilities (Jamie Bell as Griffin), he discovers that his genetic gift has existed for centuries and that Jumpers are hunted by mysterious assassins known as Paladins. And when the Paladins (led by Samuel L. Jackson and his ridiculous hairdo) track David down, he has to stay one jump ahead of them, while attempting to conceal his abilities from his childhood sweetheart (Rachel Bilson).

The Good
Director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) has fashioned a fast-paced, snappily edited sci-fi thriller out of Stephen Gould's book, but it's very much a case of style over substance. That said, the effects are extremely well done and there are some undeniably impressive set-pieces, both of which feature heavily in the trailers.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is Christensen, who gives a shockingly wooden performance (even by his own dismal standards) and has zero chemistry with Bilson. However, he can't take all the blame, as the script makes his character hard to like from the start – for example, he's seen ignoring the plight of flood victims he could easily rescue.

The other problem is that the messy script completely fails to explore any of its potentially interesting themes, such as the religious zealotry of the Paladins, the classic superhero theme of great power bringing great responsibility or, most intriguingly, a subplot involving Diane Lane.

Worth seeing?
In short, Jumper squanders its interesting premise and the end result is a flashy, but ultimately disappointing chase movie.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 24/08/2019 00:51

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