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Jumper works as a travelogue, but it doesn’t work as a movie. David Rice (Hayden Christensen) leaps from The Sphinx to Big Ben to the Coliseum, but his only goal is to escape arch rivals the Paladins (led by Samuel L. Jackson as Roland). It’s a concept without a story. Director Doug Liman sinks lower than he did in his tabloid action pic Mr. and Mrs. Smith and once again lacks the vitality he brought to earlier films Swingers, Go and The Bourne Identity. Co-star and romantic interest Rachel Bilson is kept at arm’s length by Christensen’s secretive escape trick. Thus their attraction to one another is, like everything in the script, never legitimized. Liman keeps the scenes too short---the movie’s a chaotic jumble. David’s ability to teleport makes the action frantic, but because there’s always a way out, scenes lack tension. The concept is there, but the story’s structure is weak and unsatisfying.

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Vol 26, No 25
November 15, 2018

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