Hayden Christensen plays David, who, because of his ability to teleport or "jump", is hunted by Samuel L Jackson’s Roland, a member of sinister organisation, the Paladins. Rachel Bilson stars as his high school sweetheart, Millie, while Jamie Bell plays Griffin, a jumper who was orphaned when the Paladins killed his parents. It’s a fairly simple concept, but the film capitalises upon the opportunity for globetrotting by having scenes in 20 cities from all over the world.
The action throughout the film is extremely good, and the ability to teleport is well utilised. Samuel L Jackson is in his standard evil menacing mode, but never really brings anything new or original to the role. (There is also something strangely satisfying about watching Billy Elliot wielding a flamethrower.)
It’s very clear throughout that director Doug Liman has a clearly defined mythology in mind when making this film, even if much of it is only briefly touched on. This is good, because we can believe that we are being dropped, much like David, into the midst of a larger conflict and a larger world that we are only just starting to understand.
It’s not without its flaws, unfortunately, and they threaten to spoil the good work Jumper does in other areas. It’s never a good thing when you actually find yourself shouting "What the fuck are you doing?!?!" at the screen, but when David, hiding behind a pillar from Roland, sees a photo of his mother and then steps out of hiding and says "Mom?", it was all I could do not to hunt down Hayden Christensen and punch him in the face. Millie and David’s reunion is also sloppy, and far to devoid of, well, any emotion whatsoever to be believable. What’s more is this clumsiness is so avoidable, and would have made the film much easier to enjoy.
There is also the unfortunate reality that standing in the clock face of Big Ben or sitting on the head of the Sphinx is not exactly subtle or likely to go unnoticed, particularly if it’s something you did on a regular basis. I can suspend disbelief far enough to accept that someone can teleport, but that everyone else in the world is blind? Afraid not.
Overall, Jumper is enjoyable enough over it’s quite short running time, but you can’t help but feel that it couldn’t have been stretched out any longer without starting to drag. It’s worth the watch, but don’t go out of your way for it. C+.