Archive | 10:45 pm

Destination Anywhere

13 Feb

If you learned one day that you could teleport anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice, where would you go? Paris? Rome? The South Pole? And would you use this power for good or for evil? Whatever your choice, I hope you don’t choose to go to a movie theater to see Jumper, a movie about a guy (played by Darth Vader himself, Hayden Christensen) who can teleport anywhere he wishes. When he’s 15, David Rice (that’s Christensen’s character), learns he has the skill and he decides to run away from his unhappy life in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and head to New York, where he robs banks and travels the world, and becomes a spoiled, selfish brat. But Rice has never gotten over his childhood crush, Millie, so eight years later he returns home to find her. Lucky for David, Millie has grown up to look a lot like Summer Roberts (yes, Millie is played by the lovely Ms. Rachel Bilson). And they live happily ever after.

Yeah, if only. You see, hot on Rice (and all Jumpers)’s trail is Samuel L. Jackson, leader of the Paladin organization, whose goal is to kill Jumpers — deemed too powerful to exist. Thankfully, Rice meets Griffin (Jamie Bell), another Jumper, who is trying to take down the Paladins. And somewhere in this plot is David’s mother (Diane Lane), who abandoned David when he was just five years old, but who has some unexplained connection to the action.

I guess it all sounded cool. And after all, the movie was directed by Doug Liman, whose credits include Go, The Bourne Identity, Swingers, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith — all good, fun, exciting movies. Surprisingly, there’s none of the zip found in those films here. But I don’t necessarily blame Liman. Instead, I blame Christensen, who is without a doubt one of the worst actors working today — if he can even be called an actor. His stiff performance and almost monotone delivery of the lines conveys almost no excitement at all. He only emphasizes how lame some of the dialogue is. But worse is the fact that he has, like, zero chemistry with Bilson. Come on, man, she’s smokin’! Christensen must not read GQ. (Of course, he gets the last laugh because the two are dating in real life. What a bastard.) Anyway, Jumper features some relatively cool effects and Bell is certainly the most engaging member of the cast (one wonders if he should have played David), but overall this is a pretty stupid flick.

Now, after all that, you may be wondering where I would go if I could teleport. The answer is easy: Portland, Oregon, so I could see Erin and explain to her that even if a movie is free, and even if it’s only 88 minutes long, and even if the cast includes Rachel Bilson and Diane Lane, going home to watch American Idol is always the better option. I’m giving Jumper a C-.