Thursday, February 14, 2008

You’ll Wish You Could Jump Into a Different Movie


Release: 02/14/2008

Rated: PG-13

1 hour, 28 minutes

Second-Run Seats ($$)

Of the few memorable lines in Jumper, I remember most the main character's reference to "Marvel Team-up," a concept where two heroes join forces to battle a common foe. This got me thinking about those old-school trading cards I had growing up, and I couldn't help but wonder what if the cast of Jumper could be similarly summed up...

The "Heroes":

Actor: Hayden Christensen
Cred: Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
Reel Whore Codename:
Darth Lame

Character Name: David "Davey" "Riceball' Rice
Other Known Aliases:
Mannequin Skywalker
Jumper, Bank robber

Strengths: Teleportation, Extreme stubborness
Weaknesses: Electricity, Prone to monotonous inner dialogue, All-around dim-bulb

I accepted Star Wars as the stumbling block of Christensen’s career and banked on his Shattered Glass abilities, but it w
as for naught. He’s left one diminutive Naboo love interest for a petite Michigan waitress with whom he exhibits even less chemistry. In a film of jumping and ass-kicking, Christensen finds himself in extensive, vacuous inner monologue about his past with an emotionally stunted, Ben Stein-esque voice. In the brief action moments, he repeatedly gets his ass handed to him by Roland, leading us to wonder why should we care that he lives?

Actor: Jamie Bell
Cred: King Kong
Reel Whore Codename: The Bonkers Brit
Character Name:
Other Known Aliases:
Billy Elliot
Occupation: Jumper, Resistance fighter

Strengths: Bat-shit crazy, Teleportation, Owns an arsenal of weapons (except for guns)
Weaknesses: Electricity, Loner mentality, Owns an arsenal of weapons except for guns!

I will hear no disagreement to the fact that Bell is the best thing about Jumper. I'd have rather seen Davey eat it to allow the Griftster to go on a unbarred, teleportation-riddled killing spree among the Paladin ranks. Instead, the best character is left hanging with just enough story to establish a sequel no one will go see.

The “Villains”:

Actor: Samuel L. Jackson
Cred: xXx
Reel Whore Co
dename: The Silver Samuel
Character Name:
Other Known Aliases:
The Man of 1000 Hair-Dos, King of Cool
Occupation: Paladin; NSA- CIA- IRS impostor

Strengths: Righteous berserker rage when beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of Jumpers.
Weaknesses: Incompetent minions, Prone to excessive gloating after a successful righteous rage.

Having Jackson play an angry, no-nonsense badass is a can’t-lose decision, but failing to provide adequate explanation behind his character’s motivation and history stunts the viewer's interest. Giving him all of six minutes of action scenes rapes what little interest remained.

Actor: Diane Lane
Cred: Judge Dre
Reel Whore Codename: The Kiss of Death
Character Name:
Mary Rice
Other Known Aliases:
Bareback Brolin Rider
Paladin, Deadbeat Mom

Strengths: Limited screen time, Mature hotness
Weaknesses: Urge to help son, Inclusion as an excuse for lame sequel.

Mostly an afterthought, Lane is given very little to say and even less to do. She’s pretty much an excuse to add another pretty face and set up events for an inevitable sequel. See Lane (above) watch the remnants of her rising star fizzle into the horizon.

The By-Standers:

Actor: Rachel Bilson
Cred: The O.C.
Reel Whore Codename: Oh, She’s Not Sophia Bush
Character Name:
Other Known Aliases: The Crepe Paper Character, Bait
Occupation: Functionally retarded bar wench

Strengths: Functionally retarded, Cute and Dense
Weaknesses: Being Rachel Bilson.

Contrary to Davey’s abilities to instantaneously slip through the fabric of time and space, Bilson has the inability to act her way out of a wet paper sack. The adult Millie character is underwritten, and while bad for the film, it’s good because it’s doubtful Bilson could have handled any more dimension to her role. The biggest insult about the character of Millie is the casting director felt the talented AnnaSophia Robb (The Reaping) could grow up to be Rachel Bilson.

Actor: Michael Rooker
Reel Whore Codename: That Guy Who Plays the Bad Cop Who Isn’t David Morse
Character Name:
William Rice
Other Known Aliases: Dad, Remorseful Drunken Dad

Occupation: Mechanic?

Strengths: Being Michael Rooker.
Weaknesses: Needing to work in movies like this.

Michael Rooker doesn’t have the luxury afforded Jackson and Lane to be choosy. He works and he works hard, and for what? Acting far above board for characters that, in this case, don’t deserve his talents. It’s a shame what folks have to do for a paycheck.

The Masterminds:

Director and Writers: Doug Liman, David S. Goyer, Simon Kinberg, Jim Uhls

Reel Whore Codename: The Brainchildren
Other Known Aliases: Talented Guys
Occupation: Competent director and writers

Strengths: Making films like The Bourne Identity, Blade, Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Fight Club.
Collaboration on Jumper

I never thought I’d say this, but the photo (above) depicts the combined faces of evil. There’s a smugness and sneering that suggests, “We fuck you ups, man! We takes ze money!” I implore you gentlemen, seek help immediately!

Setting the character summaries aside, here's the quick and dirty synopsis:

Take a gander at the Official IMDB Plot Outline:
"A genetic anomaly allows a young man to teleport himself anywhere. He discovers this gift has existed for centuries and finds himself in a war that has been raging for thousands of years between "Jumpers" and those who have sworn to kill them."

So this “thousands of years” war over a power “centuries” old (I’m chronologically confused now) has declined into nothing more than a lot of hot air being blasted at lackeys or people too dense to understand.

Dirty Undies
Just a thought for those who want to make an action film: next time, put some fucking action into it. Also, when the bad British boy is tough enough to carry a flamethrower, maybe he should curse like a drunken sailor, too.

The Money Shot
The tagline read "Anywhere is Possible"; how ironic since this story goes absolutely nowhere. If you want my advice, anywhere is definitely better than being in a dark theater watching this.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. i knew that is was going to either suck or be enjoyable. Nothing more or nothing less. It seems from the reviews that it sucked...

  2. So it's a stinker. What happened? I was excited a while back, but after reading reviews of the internet I am on the brink of madness. Well at least I get to see a cool hairpiece on Sam. I saw a picture earlier today, made ma laugh that and I've heard the score by John Powell which isn't bad. I will give it a review one of these days.

  3. Yup - how disappointing. I guess I'll have to hope that Vantage Point will be better. 2008 is not starting so good...

  4. Yep. I went in hoping for a small amount of suck and they couldn't even manage that.

    Sad thing is since '08 has been such a crapfest to date, there's very little choice out there for alternatives to movies like this.

    What's even worse is the movies don't look to be getting any better until damn near April!

    Netflix, save me now!