| February 15, 2008

“This Fall on Fox… He… is the latest evolution in a long line of genetically evolved humans, able to jump to any place on the globe. His mission–secret agent for the President of the United States.”
That isn’t the plot of Jumper, but as I watched the movie version of the book by Steven Gould, I kept thinking that 24 is going to run its course soon, so it is time for another spectacular, globe-hopping anchor to the sister station of the most fake news station on the planet. And weighing in at a meager 90 minutes, including credits, we could have seen the pilot for a new show.
In this pilot, Hayden Christensen (Shattered Glass, Star Wars prequels) stars as David Rice. At the beginning of this film, he finds out that he is a “Jumper,” one of a few humans who have the ability to move from place to place around the globe through worm holes which are self created. We witness his first few jumps, then the movie jumps forward eight years.
There, we see a young man who has become very comfortable with his powers, but as we will found out later, they have been undeveloped.
What turns the direction of the movie is the introduction of the Pylons–a race of humans sworn to chase down and kill the Jumpers. Evidently they have been warring for centuries, but as I see the powers of the Jumpers, until the advent of telecommunications and tasers, I do not see how they could have won any of these fights. This isn’t like the Highlander series, where the Jumpers all fight each other until one is left. These are genetically advanced humans, able to move from one place to another in an instant, against a static opponent.
Those Pylons are now led by Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane), who has been on Rice’s trail but is finally able to get very close to catching Rice when he returns home to track down the girl of his dreams, Millie (Rachel Bilson).
The roles of David and Millie were originally cast for Tom Sturridge (Like Minds) and Teresa Palmer (The Grudge 2), but after two months of filming and inflating production costs, Christensen and Rachel Bilson were recast as the leads. (Eminem and Evan Rachel Wood were also offered the roles.) After watching Bilson–I cannot believe I was not a fan of The O.C. She would have been fun to look at for an hour each week… Oh, and her acting was pretty good, too.
When you see this on cable, you should not jump over it. For the length of time it takes to watch it, you are just missing an extended version of American Idol. But if you cannot open your own worm hole instead of hopping into the car, waiting in line, paying for expensive tickets and popcorn, I would skip this one.

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