Sometimes you go see a movie even though you know it sucks. It’s inspiring, in a way. You often learn a lot about how to make movies by learning what not to do. So I thought maybe with Jumper I could learn a lot.
I was wrong.
There is nothing to be learned, gained, or laughed at about this movie. It’s not hilariously bad or even amusingly bad. It’s just bad.
Let’s examine this as a super hero movie:
- Super power? Teleportation. Meh. They really try to spice it up with shock waves caused by each teleport, but it’s got a cool factor of zero point three.
- Who is the hero? Just some dude. Fine.
- Who does he become once he gets his powers? Some rich dude who saves money on airfare.
- What about the villain? A PG-13 Samuel L. Jackson with a tazer. If anything could have saved this movie it would have been a ridiculous Snakes on a Plane-esque rant about those mofo jumpers.
So bad superpower, bad hero, bad villain. And it’s PG-13! At least a bad R-rated movie can be violent. Add in a sobbing back story and some predictable twists and you’ve got a movie that was probably written in a week and a half.
But Doug Liman is a good director. He made Swingers, Go, and The Bourne Identity. As good as he is, David S Goyer is an even better screenwriter, especially for super hero movies. The dude wrote Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Blades 1, 2, and 3. He wrote Dark City. He’s helming the new Magneto movie. You would think these two could handle a trashy comic book flick with flair and excitement.
Jumper doesn’t take itself seriously enough to be totally laughed at. It’s a frustrating attempt at Steve McQueen cool that doesn’t make it halfway to Rip Taylor. And can we finally stop giving Hayden Christensen roles in movies yet? Probably not. The freaking thing is making money. Which sort of proves me right. Goyer is a good screenwriter. Liman is a good director. This movie sucks, but a lot of people are seeing it anyway.