Jumper (2008) - Special Edition
|Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Science Fiction / Thriller|
|Fox || PG13 - 88 minutes - $34.98 || June 10, 2008|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2008-05-21|
Writer(s): Steven Gould (novel); David S. Goyer and Jim Uhls and Simon Kinberg (screenplay)
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Diane Lane, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Michael Rooker
Theatrical Release Date: February 14, 2008
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“Anywhere is possible.”
What would you do if you could go anywhere in the world on whim? That is the basic question Jumper proposes and conceptually speaking, it’s a fantastic idea... shame the execution wasn’t fantastic as well.
Jumper stars Hayden ‘Noooooo!!!!!’ Christensen as David Rice, a young man who discovers during his teen years that he can “jump” from one location to another. With a crappy home life and not much attachment in his hometown, save for childhood friend turned crush Millie (older Millie played by Bilson), David – for intent and purpose – robs (by “jumping” into the vault) a bank to gain some much needed funds. Years later we find him living the good life in NYC and still jumping all over the world to some of his favorite hotspots such as the Sphinx in Egypt or to a London Pub to pick up a lady friend.
His globe-jumping hasn’t gone unnoticed, however. Enter Roland (Jackson), a man who belongs to a secret organization in charge of finding and killing these Jumpers because they believe that “Only God should have this power.” He also has some special weapons that are able to contain their targets from Jumping, of course one could argue simply use a gun would probably be more effective, though one key piece of equipment allows Roland to follow the Jumpers through the portals.
During his life on the run from Roland, David also meets another Jumper named Griffin (Bell) who is more than aware of the war going on between those like Roland and other Jumpers and works to hunt down the hunters.
Jumper was directed by Doug Liman, someone certainly capable of putting together an entertaining flick as seen in The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith and even though Jumpers is a fine movie on the entertainment front, there’s little else that really works. Both Bourne and Mr. & Mrs. Smith had interesting stories, like Jumper, but that’s as far as I can go with the comparisons. Those two movies feature solid actors and in the case of Smith, you couldn’t help by NOT to be intrigued by the whole Jolie/Pitt romance. And Bourne has Matt Damon. Nuff said. But what does Jumper feature?
One of the biggest drawbacks is Hayden Christensen. Unlike some on the Net, I don’t mind the guy, hell I think he has some talent, but the character doesn’t have many redeeming qualities so when you put Christensen into the role, he comes across as a punk more than anything else.
Another drawback comes is the supporting cast as a whole. I realize Samuel L. Jackson is “The Man”. He’s a fantastic actor but if xXx: State of the Union proved something it would be he would do anything for a paycheck. Not that there’s anything wrong with an actor doing a fun movie for extra cash, but I never felt the full use of his talents were put to work here. And that goes triple for Diane Lane who merely is a cameo in the film (she only has maybe 5-minutes of screen time), although based on the ending, she was being prepped for a possible sequel...
It’s possible the behind-the-scenes on Jumper probably was more interesting than the actual movie. The film has been in production since 2004 and actually had cast the parts of David and Millie but two months into production they were replaced with Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson. Par for the course on a Doug Liman film, so no big surprises there. The film is also based upon a novel by Steven Gould and adapted by David S. Goyer (Batman Begins), Jim Uhls (Fight Club) and Simon Kinberg (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), who also was the man behind such greats as xXx: State of the Union and the subpar X-Men: The Last Stand and the upcoming Night at the Museum 2.
As a time waster, Jumper is an enjoyable film. Despite my criticism of Christensen I think it would make a good movie on a Friday night, but beyond that it’s nowhere near others in the action genre.
The film also co-stars the lovely and gorgeous Rachel Bilson. Given her character doesn’t have a lot to do, for the most part, I thought she did a fine job with what she had. Is she some kind of star on the rise? Probably not. She’s on the same playing field or even slightly ahead of someone like Katie Holmes.
Feature Commentary – Director Doug Liman, Producer Lucas Foster and Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg provide a very informative commentary track that gets into everything from taking the source material and basically starting from scratch to other production stories. Even though I don’t like Liman’s methods, but he’s an entertaining speaker.
Doug Liman’s Jumper: Uncensored (35:30) – This is an extensive and off-the-cuff featurette that just takes the camera behind-the-scenes and sticks it front of the cast and crew’s faces. At the center of this is Liman’s propensity for basically tearing out the original script and playing it by ear. Liman himself seems like a likable guy but his reputation precedes him and Jumper only adds to those stories. – Special Edition Exclusive
Jumping Around the World (10:54) – This chronicles where the crew filmed from all four corners of the world: Tokyo, Baha (Mexico), New York City, Egypt, Toronto and Paris. It’s a good featurette that gives some insight into the process and challenges of filming at these various locations. – Special Edition Exclusive
Making an Actor Jump (7:34) – Featurette that takes a look at the creative process of coming up with the jumps to WETA’s work on the actual jumps. Another short feature that I’d think would get a closer look if/when Fox decides to do a double dip.
Jumping from Novel to Film (8:07) – Here we get comments from the filmmakers like Liman to the author himself, Steven Gould and his thoughts on taking his work and translating it for the big screen. More interesting, though, is that Liman along with writer Kinberg and producer Foster came up with a bigger story and split it for three movies.
Deleted Scenes (11:11) – Fox has included six scenes; one of them has Roland talking with his kid telling him why he does what he does. Most of the other scenes wouldn’t have done much with the movie, though. – Special Edition Exclusive
Previz: Future Concepts (4:29) – Ever play “The Sims” game? It’s kind of like that but with creepy faces and some music score. I assume these were done for possible sequels or were meant for this one.
This disc also features Jumpstart: David’s Story Animated Graphic Novel (8:00) (Special Edition Exclusive) and trailers for “24” and the FX Network.
Bonus Digital Copy (Special Edition Exclusive) takes up the second disc so all the exclusive features are contained on disc one.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Fox screeners are watermarked with a small logo that appears maybe three or four times. Watching the film, I didn’t think it looked bad at all but since this is not the final product, I can’t give the video a rating yet.
The DVD features a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 track along with a DTS counterpart. Comparing the two, the DTS is a bit stronger but both should be fine for most people. Neither track will overpower or even wow you, yet it’s good enough for a movie like this.
Jumper is an imperfect flick but at the same time, it is quite entertaining and has some decent visual effects. While Hayden Christensen still comes off as a punk kid like he also portrayed in the Star Wars prequels, he never sinks the film though he doesn’t help either. As for the DVD, this “Special Edition” contains some nice features nevertheless for the extra it will cost you ($8 or so), I’m not sure it’s worth it. The biggie here is the 30-minute “uncensored” featurette that does make for an interesting viewing.