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Jumper

Year: 2008
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Doug Liman
Producer: Simon Kinberg
Writer: David S Goyer/Simon Kinberg
Cast: Hayden Christensen, Samuel L Jackson, Rachel Bilson, Michael Rooker, Diane Lane, Tom Hulce
A winning idea on paper, the new film by the brains behind the original Bourne and Mrs and Mrs Smith, so it had action. A hot (in every sense of the word) leading lady in Rachel Bilson, so it had romantic tension. A sci-fi premise with larger-than-life appeal.

What went so wrong? It's hard to even say among the many flaws. Was it the glossing over of the silly eons-old war between the goodies and baddies, the lack of a comprehensive mythology to the premise, the unengaging story or the miscasting?

This could have been one they made action figures about, as distinctive as a new millennium Star Wars or The Matrix. But the finished result was a mess of half-baked ideas, dull action and uninteresting characters. I'm starting to think Samuel L Jackson is a curse in every film he's in anyway, and the cardboard cut-out of Hayden Christensen has long been a death knell for any performing credibility.

Along with a completely misplaced Jamie Bell, they ground a great idea into dust as a young man (Christensen) grows up with the life everyone dreams of after discovering he can teleport as a teenager. With life an endless party, he's suddenly bought crashing back to Earth when a seriously fashion-poor dude (Jackson) shows up to kill him because it's against the natural order...or something - throughout the film we never actually get a convincing reason why these self-appointed warriors are determined to kill all teleporters off.

So the hero goes back to seek out the girl he loved as a boy and crosses paths with another teleporter (Bell) who has a much worse temper and who you simply know the hero will have to join forces with (surprise surprise).

The battle is on as Jackson's bad hairdo follows Christensen's bad acting across the globe, and although the filmmakers obviously felt special going from the shopping sprawl of Tokyo to the uninhabited deserts of the middle east, everywhere else and back again in the blink of an eye, it needed much better execution to prop it all up.

A weak delivery, flaccid action, holes everywhere and a totally unsatisfying resolution killed all potential this movie had, and it had a lot.

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