Thursday, February 14, 2008

"Jumper" -- * 1/2

Doug Liman's mostly incoherent "Jumper" is an 84-minute-long bundle of stupid that isn't nearly fun enouh to justify its existence. I would actually commend it for its bold, operatic heights of idiocy if it wasn't so fucking dull. You just can't be dull AND dumbn, it's just not done. I understand the filmmakers had a problem from the outset when Hayden Christiansen and Rachel Bilson were cast as their leads. Both are very pretty to look at, but pause plentiful cringing whenever they open their mouths to speak (not to be confused with what they were doing when they opened their mouths to get cast in "Jumper"). Both actors are gloriously bland and speak in monotonous intonations, much in the way Jessica Alba does, and have been that way without exception (even in the brilliantly scripted "Shattered Glass," Christiansen's performance was the only thing that kept that film from greatness).

For those who haven't been bombarded by the TV spots, "Jumper" concerns a dude (Christiansen) who discovers he has the ability to teleport, or "jump." Rather than use this power for good, he uses it to steal money from banks and "jump" to exotic locations to surf or tan; somehow, we're supposed to like him. For reasons that are never really made clear, a black guy with white hair (Samuel L. Jackson, slumming more than usual) hates "jumpers" and is trying to kill them all. For the first 50 minutes or so, our douchebag protagonist jumps around to exotic sites and bangs Rachel Bilson, and for the last half hour tries to avoid getting killed by Jackson. Then, in a stunning burst of anti-climax, douchie teleports to Egypt with said bad guy and leaves him there, just in time for Christiansen and Bilson to ponder "where do we go next" and end the movie, setting up a sequel in a bit of wishful thinking. There, I saved you ten bucks, thank me later.


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