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Jumper - sci-fi DVD / action adventure DVD review
JUMPER Rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Michael Rooker
Director: Doug Liman   Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 10 June 2008   Runtime: 88 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Audio tracks (English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround; Spanish Dolby Surround; French Dolby Surround), Subtitles (English, Spanish), Audio commentary (director Doug Liman, writer/producer Simon Kinberg, producer Lucas Foster), "Jumping From Novel to Film: The Past, Present and Future of Jumper" featurette, "Making an Actor Jump" featurette, "Previz: Future Concepts"

The quick review for people in a hurry...
Hey, did you know the guy who directed the The Bourne Identity made a movie about people who can teleport? Yeah, I saw it last week, it's not bad.
Go on....
It's not bad. I don't think that's what anybody attached to this film was hoping for. It's not good. It's not bad. It just is.
The best way to describe Jumper is to compare it to reading every other page of a book. When you get to the end, you know what has happened, but you're sure you missed a lot, too. The film has a brisk pace that I appreciated at first; I don't need a lengthy origin story to waste the first 45 minutes of a movie. Was it radioactive spider and/or sandwich? I don't care and don't need to know. Just give me the parameters, and I'll throw some attention your way. However, the brisk pace interferes with the film about half-way through. Several unanswered questions where dragging in my mind and distracting me from the whiz-bang effects.

Questions like...
Why do the Designated Bad GuysT have a no-negotiate policy with the jumpers?

Why does the Unexpected AllyT have a no-negotiate policy with the just about everyone?

What's the significance of Designated Bad Guy LeaderT's weapon of choice?

How does Hayden Christensen keep getting work?
As for the casting choices, it seems like everybody in this film gave about a fifty-percent effort. Samuel Jackson shows up as himself (which is always fun to watch). Michael Rooker has an interesting but underdeveloped role as the main character's abusive, alcoholic single father. I believe everybody's favorite character will end up being Griffin, played by Jamie Bell. As a mentor / competitor to our hero, he takes over any scene that he's in. His character has great potential and could support a sequel (or better yet, prequel) on his own. Top the movie off with a mostly un-expected plot twist involving Diane Lane as the absentee mother of our hero, and you have this film wrapped up.

It appears that the intent is to make a trilogy out this story, and I'm on board for that. There are plenty of entertaining plot themes that, if properly developed, could make this an interesting series to follow. I'll probably check out the next one, if only to see if my questions are answered. This film feels like the middle one, however, without the benefit of having seen the first. Is it worth it? It's a coin toss. The action is well done and the audio effects deserve some credit, but the missing story will be a deal-breaker for most people wanting more out a sci-fi film involving teleporters and their shenanigans.

This film is a decent rental; just don't make it your only rental that night.

Final thoughts?
Do your SuperheroT movies require a coherent story, or does all that talking just get in the way of the superhero-ing?

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reviewed by Ryan Strampe
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