Octa submitted a review of the weekend’s biggest box office draw. Read the review below.

Cast and Crew

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

Hayden Christensen as David Rice
Rachel Bilson as Millie
Samuel L. Jackson as Roland
Jamie Bell as Griffin
Diane Lane as Mary Rice

Full credits available at the imdb.

Premise

A young boy learns he has the power of teleportation which he uses to rob banks and live a jet set lifestyle, ultimately leading to a secret organization of “Paladins” hunting him down.

High Point

The visual splendor of watching two jumpers chase each other across the globe and using their powers in creative ways to try and stop each other.

Low Point

The best a secret organization, with seemingly unlimited funding and lack of ethics, can come up with is a tube that shoots an electrical net?

The Review

Originality: 3/6. The concept, and even its rules, seems directly lifted from the pages of X-men’s Nightcrawler. The movie is also based on a series of novels by the same name.

Effects: 6/6. The effect used for teleportation is excellent. The immediate area around the jumper when he teleports is affected by some kind of pressure and this is visualized by walls being pushed in, dust kicking into the air, water rippling. It’s very subtle but adds a lot to accepting what they’re doing on screen. It seemed “believable” and made me all the more wishing I could do it too!

Story 4/6. The writers do a good job of establishing how the main character discovers his powers and his motivations in abusing them. Where the story falls flat is the description of the secret organization hunting him down. Their purpose is at best ambiguous and at times simply ridiculous. The “power” is never really explained either which was probably a smart move as the reason given in the novels takes a lot of suspension of disbelief. The resolution is interesting and one I hope they’ll be able to develop in the future.

Acting: 3/6. Hayden manages to channel his inner Anakin by playing a wooden character whose only emotional response to everything is having a temper tantrum. The chemistry with his love interest is almost non-existent. Seriously, trade Rachel Bilson’s character with Padme and you’d have a re-enactment of Episode 2’s love story. Everyone else does a good job of supporting the story. Samuel L. Jackson played the perfect “hunter” but I felt his character had a deeper back-story than what was presented. A highpoint is Jamie Bell’s character as a rebel jumper out to hunt the hunters. He managed to bring some laughter to a movie that was slowly coming to taking itself too seriously.

Production 5/6. I’m not sure if all the locations were actually shot onsite but they managed to fool me if they didn’t.

Emotional Response: 5/6. The premise is very cool and manages to present the “power” in a believable way. The end fight/chase scene is especially exciting. There’s a bit of a twist at the very end which, as I mentioned above, I hope gets developed in the movies.

Overall 5/6. An enjoyable sci-fi action movie that, if you consider yourself a fan of the genre, must see. They didn’t skimp on the teleporting effects and despite Hayden’s efforts to ruin the movie the supporting cast does an admirable job of pulling it all together.

In total, Jumper receives 31/42.