Sci-fi action blockbuster with Hayden Christensen as a young man able to teleport himself to any place on earth. After discovering he has a genetic anomaly that allows him to teleport wherever he wants, teenager David Rice (Christensen) embarks on a hedonistic lifestyle of girls, money and travel, indulging his every whim, and using his power to fund his desires. It's not long, however, before he discovers that others share his power, and that the underground community of 'Jumpers' are being targetted by 'Paladins', a group dedicated to their destruction. Pursued by a Paladin named Roland (Samuel L. Jackson), Rice and fellow jumper Griffin (Jamie Bell) soon find themselves fighting for their lives as their sworn enemies close in.
As preposterous action movies go, Jumper
is pleasantly unpretentious and breezily entertaining. A young man named David (Hayden Christensen) discovers he has the power to teleport (or "jump") anywhere he can visualize. After using this power to steal and make a comfortable life for himself, he pursues the girl he longed for in school (Rachel Bilson, The O. C.
). But as he does so, another jumper (Jamie Bell, Billy Elliot
) and a pack of fanatical jumper-hunters called paladins (led by a white-haired Samuel L. Jackson) crashes into David's freewheeling life. Jumper wastes no time trying to explain how jumping works or delving into the hows and whys of the paladins; this is an alluring fantasy of power directed at a pell-mell pace by Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity
, Mr. and Mrs. Smith
). There's a brief moment when it feels like the movie will bog down in romance and vague gestures towards character development--happily, that's the moment when Bell appears and the whole movie shifts into overdrive. You might wish that Bell and Christensen had swapped roles; Bell has a far more engaging personality, and Christensen's bland good looks might better suit a more aggressive character. Nonetheless, Jumper
has oodles of dynamism and nifty visual effects to propel its comic-book storyline forward. A variety of recognizable actors in bit parts (such as Diane Lane and Kristen Stewart, Panic Room
) suggest that the filmmakers are laying the groundwork for sequels. Based on a critically-acclaimed science-fiction novel by Steven Gould. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com