Friday, November 13, 2009

“Jumper” – A good use for an umbrella.

February is generally a low point for movie releases, but, every year studios try to lower that bar. Continuing that tradition is "Jumper." The only redeeming quality of the experience was that I saw the movie on a business trip. I know what you're thinking...huh? Let me explain...This is time that would otherwise be spent flipping through channels in the hotel, not to mention my wife would never see this movie. This way, I'm wasting time anyway, and since I'm away from my wife, I don't have to convince her to waste two hours on a film that she has absolutely zero interest in. Luckily, I only wasted an hour and half of my own time.

How does Hayden Christensen continue to land movie roles? Especially after his craptastic performances in the two latest Star Wars films. Granted, they were shitty movies with or without him, but that's not the point. He has the personality of desk lamp and the acting skills to match. But I can't slam just him. The acting in this movie sucked in general, but who can blame them? This movie was obviously a paycheck for all those involved, especially Diane Lane. Regardless of what she got paid, it was too much. Two scenes and six lines is a waste of money for anyone, especially for someone who actually has talent. This was by far the easiest paycheck she has ever earned. Maybe this was a payback for having to be in "Judge Dredd," so we'll forgive her. At least she didn't have enough screen time to be blamed for this sewage passing as film.

By now, you're probably waiting for me to talk about the plot. Well, keep waiting. It's hard to believe that this movie was based on a novel, since most publishers won't waste time on books without plots. Let me be clear about something; there is no way to turn a novel into a movie in under 90 minutes. It's impossible. Stop trying. The only books that translate in that amount of time are written by Dr. Seuss.

Ok, fine. Here's the plot. Kid learns to teleport, robs a bank, eight years later some guys try to kill him, Rachel Bilson takes off her shirt, Samuel Jackson, Samuel Jackson, Samuel Jackson, special effects, Samuel Jackson, CGI of Rome, Egypt, and Ann Arbor?!, Samuel Fucking Jackson, Rachel Bilson gets wet, THE END. You asked for it. The sad thing is that this story probably had some depth to it, but we'll have to spend another ten dollars to find out in the sequel. Which WILL happen. They can't help themselves, nor do they want to. Samuel Jackson's whole motivation for killing Jumpers is, and this is a direct quote, "Only God should have the power to be everywhere." What the fuck?! Do the writers expect us to accept this as a good reason, not to mention the only reason for a centuries-old war between Paladins (Jackson's group) and Jumpers? Fuck. You. Why wouldn't they be trying to catch the Jumpers to force them to do evil things for them? If they can invent a box to follow the Jumpers through their "Jump Scars," you'd think they would be able to invent some sort of controlling implant. But wait, it gets better.

Electricity keeps them from jumping by, and I'm quoting again, "It's hard to concentrate with 1,000 volts going through your brain." Apparently, the jumpers are immune to electrocution, except in their brain. In one scene, a fellow jumper is shoved into the coils of power transformer, and the only effects are that he can't jump away and his body twitches like a bad television signal. No burns, no damage to the rest of his body, plus he is still conscious and speaking. Never mind that this would kill anyone and probably anything smaller than a whale. Just trust us, say the writers. Again, this isn't the most unbelievable thing about this movie.

There are two things that are more unbelievable. One is that Rachel Bilson doesn't help Jackson kill Hayden, since he's a selfish prick, a liar, a criminal, and left her in Rome at the airport. At the very least, she should have punched him in the throat and shoved his umbrella up his ass when he showed up at her apartment after ditching her. Wouldn't you pay just to see this scene? I would; with both middle fingers in the air and a maniacal laugh spilling from my lungs.

The other is that there was more than one writer claiming credit for this pile of shit. You read that right. Actually, there were three writers. And let me remind you that this wasn't even an original story. It took three people to adapt a story that was already written. If you can think of a good adjective to describe that particular scenario, please let me know. I've got nothing that adequately covers that injustice. Let's just hope that this was three writers sticking it to the studios, knowing that they were about to go on strike. I'd say that they should apologize to the author of the novel, but I'm sure he's not shedding tears on his royalty check.

So, what have we learned? Samuel Jackson is trying very hard to maintain his bad-ass image (white hair, enough said). Rachel Bilson may or may not be hot, but I definitely don't want to see Hayden Christensen take his shirt off when I'm trying to focus on Bilson. Diane Lane is a genius. The three writers are not. And make sure to clench after you leave your significant other in a foreign country, because she'll probably try to open that umbrella.

Rating: Ask for eight dollars back and please don’t save it for the sequel.

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