Wednesday, February 13, 2008


You Jump I Jump

When Samuel L. Jackson took on the role of Mace Windu in the Star Wars Prequels, I think many fan boys were relishing the fact that there'll probably be some major ass-whupping dished out by his character in typical mo-fo style, especially with the prospect of crossing swords with Anakin Skywalker (though for obvious reasons we would know who the victor will be). Well, guess even George Lucas would have chickened out on such a possibility, opting instead for something more accidental than a heartwrenching defeat. And so goes the notion of watching Jackson kick Hayden Christensen's rear.

Now here we get to see what could have happened, since the two team up again in director Doug Liman's Jumper, a movie so filled with X-Men's Nightcrawler-styled effects of teleportation, that it doesn't look special anymore. But Doug too steered clear and offered somewhat of a truce. Based on the novel by Steven Gould, Jumper tells the tale of two opposing sides, the Jumpers who have the ability to travel the world for free and basically do what they want without consequence, and the Paladins, who see green at the Jumpers wondrous god-like ability, and make it their moral duty to destroy all these freaks of nature, by posing as various government entities from the CIA to the NSA in their attempts to impose authority.

So on one corner, we have David Rice (Christensen), your regular 15 year old loser who grows up to be, well, a 15 year old stuck in the body of an adult, whose career is to borrow interest free loans from banks without their consent of course, and to woo the girl of his dreams, Millie (Rachel Bilson, in yet another seductive temptress role, and a major annoyance in the movie unfortunately). When things start to heat up from both the romance angle, and from Paladin Roland (Jackson), along comes Paladin hunter-killer Griffin (Jamie Bell)) to show David the light.

It's quite standard fare for an action movie, hinging primarily on its gimmicky teleportation one trick pony. And the pony has been ridden fairly exhaustively in this less than 90 minute movie, without any signs of assistance from a narrative that could engage further than it being one of those regular, run of the mill teenage romance action adventure. With its Star Wars baggage, I laughed when Diane Lane was introduced, because her character serves little purpose, and negligible offering of an emotional depth or development to characters. The best bit of course is to expect that Star Wars styled reference from a mile away, and waiting for the inevitable punchline to be delivered was nothing short of the expected.

Even then, the Jumpers ability has shades of the Butterfly Effect, but without the time travel element of course, only spatial travel. And I wish I had the ability too for obvious reasons, and probably lapse into the decadent lifestyle that David Rice leads, but the first thing I'll do of course is to teleport myself to the other cinema halls just to check out what better stuff are playing than this disappointing movie.

Come Here Boy and Get Your Ass Whupped Good!

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