It's been two and a half years since the movie JUMPER was released. That gives me the right to spill details without calling them "spoilers." I also think that I'm the LAST PERSON IN AMERICA to see this movie so an actual review is not appropriate at this time.
Which is good. Because I hated it.
And now I'm going to tell you exactly why I, a self-proclaimed SF fanatic, hated a movie with such a great concept.
Let's start by looking at the original trailer. Comfy? (I'll wait) Okay, now press play and we'll watch together.
Looks cool, right? Hell yeah it does. A guy who can teleport wherever he wants to whenever he wants to just by thinking about it? That's the best idea to come around in a long time. All the cool things they could have done with this gives me shivers. Even the official website is AnywhereIsPossible.com... how can they possibly screw this one up?
Oh, let me count the ways.
1. The cast. Question: What do you get when you combine Anakin Skywalker, Snakes on a Plane, and the OC? Answer: The worst acting ever. And OMG even Bella Swan had a cameo appearance at the end with her typical "wtf is your problem?" face.
The best performance, unfortunately, came from the actress who had barely any screen time: Diane Lane (see Bella Swan link for pic), who played the Jumper's estranged mother. More on her later when we discuss the story itself.
2. The main conflict. Great concept + overused-to-the-point-of-wanting-a-spork-in-the-eye conflict = ruined movie. It's basically the Jumpers (oh yeah, there's more than one of them, which takes away all the specialness) against the Paladins. What are Paladins? Glad you asked. Do you want the real definition or the JUMPER definition?
How about both, just to show you how uncreative this is:
paladin (third def.) -- any determined advocate or defender of a noble cause
Paladin (a la JUMPER) -- a group of idiots who think Jumpers are evil because "only God should have that kind of power" and therefore dedicate their lives to hunting down and killing Jumpers
C'mon. Really? You're going to play the God card? You're an abomination, a freak of nature, so you deserve to die.
It worked for X-MEN; it didn't work for JUMPER. I seriously would have rather seen the "you're a mutant and I want to experiment on you" conflict than a self-righteous group of murderers. Killing in the name of God! That idea is so contrary to itself that it makes me puke in my mouth. How do you get off professing to serve a God of love--a being who creates life and therefore cherishes it--and at the same time justify yourself as a serial killer? (Okay, maybe I shouldn't go there. I'll shut up about that now.)
3. The subplots are weak and/or don't make sense. There's a romance along the way. As a writer of romance, can I just say "NO! You did it wrong!" I felt no emotional connection between the characters who, by the end of the film, were willing to die for each other. There was no real reason presented for that kind of loyalty between them, so it felt extremely contrived. But this doesn't really surprise me since the MC is Darth Vader. The whole time I'm watching this thing--whatever it was--develop between him and the OC girl, I'm thinking, "He's a sith lord, dammit! Didn't you see how he treated Padme when she was pregnant?! And he can't act his way out of a cardboard box! No, you stupid stupid girl! Run!"
But she didn't. So she deserved to be kidnapped and used as bait. (now there's an original idea, eh? the bad guys take the girl and set up a trap!)
Then we get to the whole thing about the Jumper's mom. She disappeared when he was five and he's been wondering where she is ever since. Two things. 1) It was hard to have sympathy for the MC regarding this particular point because in the beginning of the movie he has unlimited funds and (hello!) he can teleport anywhere in the world. DOES HE TRY TO FIND HER? NO! HE SPENDS ALL HIS TIME TRAVELING THE WORLD AND BANGING ANY CHICK HE WANTS. So yeah, that was stupid. 2) Turns out, she's a--are you ready for this? dun, dun, dun!--she's a Paladin, sworn to kill all Jumpers.
And this revelation comes at the very end of the movie, which makes me think they wanted to make a sequel and, well, since this movie sucked so bad, they couldn't. So it's just left hanging there like a guillotine about to drop. She lets him "get a head start because he's her son and she loves him", and then he just casually walks off with his beach brat, smug little Jedi smile on his face, and they teleport wherever they want. Yay! Happy ending! Wait, no... wtf just happened? AND WHY WAS BELLA SWAN IN HIS MOM'S HOUSE?! Is she a half-sister? Another possible Jumper? Half-Jumper half-vampire?
GAH! Where did I leave that spork? I could really use it right now...
4. The Achilles' heel of Jumpers is electricity. And it's never explained how they're able to teleport or why electricity has this crippling effect on them. Or maybe it was, but I was so freaking bored I missed it.
Need I say more? I think not.