Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
“Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith”
Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Diane Lane, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Rooker, AnnaSophia Robb, Max Thieriot, Jesse James, Tom Hulce, Kristen Stewart, Teddy Dunn, Barbara Garrick, Michael Winther, Massimiliano Pazzaglia, Shawn Roberts, Nathalie Cox, Meredith Henderson, Damir Andrei, Tony Nappo, George King, Clark Beasley Jr., Simona Lisi, Matteo Carlomagno, Fabrizio Bucci, Giorgio Santangelo, Marcello Santoni, Franco Salvatore Di Stefano, Brad Borbridge, Angelo Lopez, Roberto Antonelli, Veronica Visentin, Christian Pikes, George Ghali, Ryny Gyto Ouk, Frantisek Jicha, Robin Zenker, Masahiro Kishibata, Sumiko Yamada, Tamaki Mihara, Mansaku Ikeuchi, Rolando Alvarez Giacoman, Adam Chuckryk, Jordan Gatto, Nicholas Kusiba, Ariel Lukane, Vanessa Reid, Stephen Whitehead, Mahmud Watts, Braden Munafo, Tamara Buchwald, Maia Smith, Valentino Visentini, John Baker, Josie Lau
“The Bourne Identity” (2002), “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” (2005)
|Producer:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, Regency Enterprises, New Regency Pictures (as New Regency), Hypnotic, Dune Entertainment, Epsilon Motion Pictures, Jumper Productions, Marc S. Fischer, Lucas Foster, Scott Gardenhour, Vince Gerardis, Jeffrey Harlacker, Joe Hartwick Jr., Simon Kinberg, Giovanni Lovatelli, Stacy Maes, Jay Sanders, Ralph Vicinanza, Philip Waley, Kim H. Winther|
|Distributor:||20th Century Fox|
from a novel by Steven Gould
“Anywhere is possible.”
On a snowy winter day, shy 15 year old David Rice finally musters up the nerve to approach the girl he has liked ever since he was five years old. He has bought a small gift for her and has wrapped it in the first thing he found lying around the house, old newspaper, tied it with string, and hopes she doesn’t notice what a hap hazard job he’s done. He hopes she sees the love from which the gift is being given.
Millie Harris is a petit, dark eyed beauty and looking into those eyes you can see she likes David too. She accepts the gift with sweet affection, a small snow globe, obviously second hand as the Eiffel Tower inside is chipped. He has taken note that Millie dreams of traveling to distant places, the Tower a secret nod that her dreams have not gone unnoticed. Their awkward shyness leaves them without much to say, but one can tell they have mountains of feelings piled up inside just waiting to burst forth.
Suddenly the school bully decides to intervene, snatches the delicate snow globe and throws it hurtling onto the thin sheet of ice covering a nearby pond. Embarrassed and not wanting the scores of school kids mulling around, and most of all Millie, thinking he’s a wimp, David stalks unflinchingly onto the cracking ice to retrieve the globe perched upon a puffy ice flaked pillow of snow.
As the thinning ice begins to split, Millie screams for David to not go after the treasure, knowing that it is a foolish thing to attempt. Knowing that there is no escape from the icy tomb of freezing water once the ice opens and the lake sucks him in. As the warning leaves her lips the weakened ice gives way with an ominous crack and David Rice is swallowed by the freezing lake and sucked kicking into what very well seems like the sluiced grave of certain death.
Little does David Rice know this is the first in a million escapes from a million places in a million situations for the rest of his life. David Rice is a Jumper.
Not a bad opening for this flick based on the novel Jumper by Steven Gould. But, unfortunately for the characters, the viewer and the movie “Jumper,” the rest of the film just doesn’t go anywhere.
It has all the right elements. The mysterious power David Rice (Hayden Christensen) suddenly finds himself with. The beautiful girl of David’s dreams, Millie Harris (Rachel Bilson) who gets suddenly caught up in the action and who’s life becomes endangered by David’s powers. The discovery of other Jumpers, and the comrade David finds in fellow Jumper Griffen (Jamie Bell) as they team up to fight the battle of their lives. This battle against the hunter villain, Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) known as a Paladin, who hunts Jumpers to kill them and rid the world of their presence.
I just never became involved with the characters. There were attempts at greatness with the story sending it’s main character jumping through worm holes from New York to London To Giza and Tokyo and the effects were eye catching. There were many grand visions, like David surfing one moment in Fiji, then the next perched atop the Sphinx in a lawn chair eating his lunch. But for all the action sequences and even some good acting, there was a missing element I believe best described as heart.
Even though this movie is rated PG-13, I recommend families not allow their young children, especially those under 13 to see this film. Here is a spoiler: There is a scene where Roland the Paladin captures a jumper, strings him up between some trees on electric tethers and shoots electricity through his brain. The jumper screams in agony. Then Roland takes a knife and stabs the jumper in the chest and twists it in while a close up of the jumper’s face is shown wrenching in the throws of death as he screams his last. There was a family sitting behind me who had children around 10 to twelve with them, and it broke my heart to listen to the little boy crying and asking his Mother to “stop it”… he couldn’t take the shock and realism of the scene. Even though it was short and no blood was shown, it was still a traumatic experience, even for me. I can only imagine how young children would take it.
There also are three uses of foul language including the f-word. There is a love scene where the main characters are shown kissing then lustfully taking off each others clothes and laughing, they fall into a bed in a motel. That is all that is shown, but I want to point out two things which concern me. One is that this film is rated PG-13 and that sex before marriage, and lust along with it, between two people who hardly know one another is portrayed as normal and right. Two is that the female character, although over 21, goes off half way around the world with a man she hardly knows without a second thought. She then proceeds to share his bed, in doing so she places herself in danger, nearly loosing her life. I understand this is a fictional story, but young girls will identify with the main female character and equate it as just fine to go off with, and make love with, a boy one hardly knows without understanding the consequences attached.
Also, it is treated as comical that David can jump in and out of bank vaults at will, stealing the money to live his life in luxury, never paying the price for the crime. He is shown as a spoiled, self-indulgent man in the beginning, and I got the feeling there was a half-hearted attempt at a lesson learned in the end. That lesson being: he has a responsibility to himself and to others because he has been endowed with his special power. There was a weak nod to the fact that David had learned this grave lesson and that he was beginning to see his powers have a high price in the end, but it just was so foggy that I know this lesson will go right over the heads of young kids who watch this movie.
To sum things up from a Christian perspective, what could have been a great super hero type movie in the same vein as Spiderman or Superman with many lessons on the value of true love, honor, self sacrifice, the evils of selfishness and greed, revenge and lawlessness,” Jumper” is a movie that fails us not for lack of substance, but for lack of continuity and style as well.
It never is made clear why David Rice has the ability to magically “Jump” in present time, from place to place around the world. While I was watching a million questions popped into my head that were never answered like where could a jumper actually jump? Can they merely look at a picture of a location and leap there, as was suggested, or do they have to physically visit a spot before teleporting to it? David mentions something about “jumping spots” he has created around Tokyo and other places, but the science behind the teleportation is never made clear. Why do Jumpers exist anyway? Where do they come from? Why do they need to be hunted and killed by Paladins? Who are Paladins, where did they start and who was the first one? How is it possible for David’s Mom to be one and have a “jumper” for a child?
Why does this movie make no sense? Why did it leave me flat even though the acting wasn’t half bad and the special effects were clever? Why can’t a wonderful actor, with such raw energy like Hayden Christensen get better parts?
Save this one to rent when it comes out on DVD, so you can at least sit with your over 16 aged kids and explain, explain, explain.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.