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Hayden Christensen
Samuel L Jackson
Diane Lane
Jamie Bell
Rachel Bilson
Tom Hulce.
Doug Liman.
David S Goyer.
Running Time
88 minutes

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Beam me up, Hayden.

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Falling into a frozen river after a school prank, David (Christensen) discovers that he can teleport, or ‘jump’. This gives him a way to leave his miserable life and begin a new playboy existence. That is, until he learns that ‘jumpers’ are targets for a mystery group of religious fanatics.

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Since he became a ‘name’, all Doug Liman movies have arrived under a cloud: one thick with scuttlebutt of over-running shoots, studio arguments and disgruntled (preferably injured) cast and crew. But so far those clouds have always wafted by as the movie turns out to be rather a blast. It happened with The Bourne Identity and again with Mr and Mrs Smith. Liman doesn’t release his creations until he’s good and ready, taking his time and throwing everything at the wall until something good sticks, hence the rumours of trouble. Jumper, though great fun in spurts, is the first of his films not to have benefited from the technique. It is instead a little dizzy.

That it doesn’t fully deliver on its promise is not down to the lack of a good central idea. The premise is bulging with possibility, boiling down to the fact that in our world exist ‘Jumpers’, people who can teleport anywhere, as long as they know what it looks like. They are (apparently) all young, male and handsome, blessed with very low body fat despite never lifting a finger to reach for a remote control. Chasing them are ‘Paladins’, an international band of religious fanatics determined to exterminate all jumpers because only God should have the power to be in all places at once. It’s a simple reason and a believable one. Wars have been fought for less.

Sadly, that’s everything there is to the story. The Paladins catch up with our hero, David (Hayden Christensen) after he’s spent eight years robbing banks, and try to kill him, while he keeps hopping across continents to avoid them. We don’t see much deeper on either side, and Liman and his screenwriters, who have proven themselves able on other projects, can’t conjure a meaty subplot. Samuel L. Jackson’s Paladin chief Roland is a bad guy who struggles to fill out a second dimension, and his employees are nameless goons. David is given some sketchy abandonment issues, which lead to a tacked-on coda, but otherwise he’s a bit of a blank canvas. Rachel Bilson as his spunky love interest and Jamie Bell as Griffin, a more charismatic, anarchic jumper who fills David in on the history of the Jumper/Paladin war, add a much-needed and welcome shot of charm and zest, if not depth.

So, it’s a thin film, but one not without its share of delights. Liman has always been most creative when pointing his camera at two people attacking each other. The jumping effect, meanwhile, is faultlessly executed – a sort of hazy implosion that leaves a sphere of destruction around it – and when Liman finds good use for it, generally involving both David and Griffin, it’s fantastic. In the film’s best sequence, the pair fight for possession of a detonator, a breathless scrap that takes them from pyramids, to a busy freeway, to the Empire State Building. When delighting in its premise in such a way, the movie becomes an absolute joy.

The overall impression Jumper leaves is much the same as the first X-Men movie: there are plenty of good ideas, and enough going on for a satisfying experience, yet nothing catches or coheres in quite the way you wish. In short, this feels like a good prologue to a bigger event. Here’s hoping that, as X-Men did, this leads to a sequel that can lace its precursor’s loose strands into something spectacular.

It’s Liman’s least charismatic action movie and the least developed, but it still packs some cracking action into its brief running time and lays foundations on which a great franchise could be built.

Reviewed by Olly Richards

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Average user rating for Jumper
Empire Star Rating

Good idea poorly executed....

Special effects can't save this dire attempt at 'intelligent concept' from a slow death. I watched it to the end hoping for a SLJ 'miracle', but alas the Saladin God wasn't listening....... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mharvie at 23:30, 04 January 2011 | Report This Post

Zero substance makes this a bummer

The only thing good about Jumper is its action, but why watch this when films like Batman Begins and the new Indiana Jones deliver solid action scenes while being actually worth your time? The writing is very mediocre; not outright unbearable, but we have seen so much better, and modern studios cannot let scripts of this quality become actual films in today's world. Hayden Christensen was never a good actor to begin with, and after ruining the Star Wars prequels moves on to ruin things here, wh... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by djphilips at 17:41, 07 April 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

Amazing and spectacular special effects of the young man who got a teleport power known as 'Jumper' who travels around the world. I think it's the evolution of a superhero is a rocky process. This action-adventure film in the several scenes has several fast-motion movements between the battles of Jumpers and the Paladins. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Gwilthyunman at 15:08, 21 August 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

I thought it was entertaining enough. Nothing special, but far from shit. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by juanvasquez at 21:38, 14 August 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

Absolutely awful, cringeworthy performance from Christensen. A script seemingly written by a praying mantis, it's a stealing pile of buffalo dung. 1/5 ... More

Posted by CORLEONE at 21:29, 14 August 2009 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

Not that my opinion counts for much but I really enjoyed this film.  Sure it's bunkum of the highest order but all films don't have to be brain busters!!   I have seen it twice and on the second time around I could see it's faults but I still enjoyed it!!  And yes Hayden Christensen is not a "great" actor but he is much better in this than he was as Manakin Skywalker!!!   I think anybody reading this and wondering whether they should bother watching this film would b... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Andybee76 at 11:48, 14 August 2009 | Report This Post

Good Stuff

Enjoyable, entertaining, fun with cool SFX and likeable leads. I thought this was a good show and would've been MUCH more impressive if we hand't seen Nightcrawler done so effectively in X2. Still, I'd like to see a sequel....especially given the potential for Time Travel. We need a rogue Jumper though........... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Hillsman at 23:27, 18 June 2009 | Report This Post

Total crap

This is one of those movies where you realize ten minutes in that you're watching crap but you stay with it to the end only to find out that it never gets any better. This has the worst acting i've ever witnessed, all four of the main stars are embarrassing. Also the plot and direction is a complete mess. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 00:03, 20 March 2009 | Report This Post

A Thrilling Action Movie.

I wanted to see this when it was on the cinema so I waited until it came out on DVD and rented it out on Blu-Ray, watching it last night. It's very different for a action movie, Samuel L Jackson as the bad guy? Shocking stuff! It has a good enough plot and filled with some gripping scenes near the end. The picture is beautiful to look at on Blu-Ray, the sound is brilliant and the ending is good enough for me. The pefomances were alright, Hayden Christensen in a different role from being in Star ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 09:54, 24 January 2009 | Report This Post

You could forgive Hayden Christensen for feeling a little bit conflicted right now. Does he go after small independent roles, in a bid to prove to the world that he can indeed act (Star Wars not exactly the best showcase for that particular talent) or does he choose another potentially blockbusting franchise and make his dollar before Mark Hamill syndrome sets in (in other words never heard from again). No-one can blame him for testing the water, as Christensen has attempted to do both. Along... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by gepete80 at 11:10, 23 December 2008 | Report This Post

One of the biggest shit ever. VERY BAD acting of Christensen. Great idea, but fair story. No more movies like this. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ARmy2510 at 05:49, 29 October 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

With a brilliant concept and Doug Liman at the helm I thought it would be a banker, but having finally watched it on DVD the only eloquent thought that comes to my mind is this - it is utter pish. How Liman managed to balls up such an interesting premise is beyond me, but he does it with a narrative which feels like it was written by a hyperactive 5 year old.  The style of the movie is all over the place, whether it was done purposefully to go hand in hand with the subject matter I do... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Vito_Andolini at 20:28, 11 August 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

L: shool I enjoyed this. Just a bit of popcorn enjoyable cinema. The concept is really good and I dont really understand all the backlash this film gets. Sure, its not a masterpiece, but it does what it says on the tin. Roll on part 2. sp; What he said. I thought the film was thoroughly enjoyable. ... More

Posted by Kazuya at 10:45, 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

I enjoyed this. Just a bit of popcorn enjoyable cinema. The concept is really good and I dont really understand all the backlash this film gets. Sure, its not a masterpiece, but it does what it says on the tin. Roll on part 2. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by shool at 10:32, 22 July 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

Jumper's like one of them fish things from MacDonalds - just fucking shit. ... More

Posted by DanCurley at 14:26, 21 July 2008 | Report This Post

RE: Sell out

L: DanCurley L: scissorkick Given that Empire seem to sell their reviews lately (FOUR STARS! for Transformers - one of the worst action films ever; FIVE STARS! for Cloverfield, for being 'nothing like you've ever seen I'd edit that post if I were you, you'll not only end up banned but you could end up in court... are you on about?? He'll get banned and sent to court for what???? expressing his opinion, pfft ... More

Posted by Wessing at 16:22, 19 July 2008 | Report This Post

Fairly satisfying

I thought this was okay. I didn't have any expectations and was entertained for an hour and a half. Clearly there's a lot of potential for a sequel and opportunity to fill in back-story. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RogueElement at 22:57, 10 July 2008 | Report This Post

Not Bad but could have been better

Quite an enjoyable film. nothing majorly wrong with it but it did miss the mark a bit. THe Premise of the film is a great idea but the film itself doesn't just deliver. Would deffinately watch a part 2 though. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by livewire at 09:25, 10 July 2008 | Report This Post

For shame, Empire

That you think this is equal to I Am Legend makes me roll my eyes, shake my head, and call you out. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Silvertouch at 22:20, 24 June 2008 | Report This Post

RE: anybody who gives this crap more then 2 stars is retarded

Oh dear, a wasted opertunity here which looks and plays like a 100million pilot for a tv series. Of course the show would be good if they concentrated on jamie bells charetor as he was interesting and the best thing in the film by a mile.          & nbsp; I couldnt give a toss about hayden christensens as he didnt seem to. He's awful as always in this. nt sure i can support a hero either who after 1st being attacked by th enemy and almost killed... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Frank Castle at 09:52, 24 June 2008 | Report This Post

RE: anybody who gives this crap more then 2 stars is retarded

Dumb and unoriginal. What a waste of a pretty good premise. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bozo at 22:11, 23 June 2008 | Report This Post

anybody who gives this crap more then 2 stars is retarded

Hayden Christensen,worst actor in the WORLD.The only good thing was the effects. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JohnPaul1996 at 21:56, 05 June 2008 | Report This Post

not a good movie

but I liked the trailer ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 0rbital at 18:35, 08 May 2008 | Report This Post

Just like the trailer

The trailer tells you just what this film will be like. Ridiculous story. Good effects. Forgettable film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FlexDream at 13:12, 15 April 2008 | Report This Post

small wager

Whos willing to bet that if Ian Naithan reviews this on dvd, he gives it one star, him being the little bandwaggon jumper that he is ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by The Kevmiester at 02:10, 05 April 2008 | Report This Post

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