Plot: What’s it about?
David Rice (Hayden Christensen) was a normal teenager, if a little shy and awkward around the ladies. His mother wasn’t around and he wasn’t close to his father, so he didn’t have anyone close he could confide or trust in. But that was before he discovered he had a hidden talent that would change his life forever. David learned he had the power to “jump,” or teleport himself anywhere he had seen before, even if just in pictures. So after one fight too many with his father, David puts his gift to use and begins to jump inside bank vault to collect the cash. His lifestyle soon turns wild, as he parties until he drops, but then he learns about Paladins, one in specific named Roland (Samuel L. Jackson). Now David has to keep ahead of the paladins, who want to stop all the jumpers, but can he do so while protecting his childhood love Millie (Rachel Bilson)?
You can tell when the people involved in a movie have a passion for the project, just as you can tell when it is just about a paycheck. Jumper is a paycheck movie. This isn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but no one seems to care about the picture, from the director to the stars. I do think there is a decent movie buried somewhere in Jumper, but since no one could be bothered to find it, it remains undiscovered. Hayden Christensen turns in a mediocre performance in the lead, though he wasn’t helped by the writers, who gave him a half assed role to step into. Even Samuel L. Jackson, who can usually work magic with even terrible parts, fails to ignite any kind of momentum. In the end, Jumper plays like a Sci-Fi Original Picture and that is a disappointment. I suppose a rental isn’t the worst idea, but I’d recommend it only as a last resort.
Video: How does it look?
Jumper is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a dynamic visual effort, one that falls just short of reference level material. The complaints are minor, such as some halos and a few scenes that look a touch soft, so for the most part, Jumper looks awesome. The print is pristine, as it should be, so detail is allowed to shine and depth is impressive. Even scenes with a lot of visual effects show off intense clarity, so this is one terrific presentation. I found colors to be bright and vibrant, save for the flashback sequences, which have an intentionally skewed presence. In conclusion, this is simply a great looking effort that almost earns the full five stars.
Audio: How does it sound?
The lossless DTS HD 5.1 option is inconsistent, as the bulk of the attention was put into the action scenes. To be fair, when the teleportation happens, the surrounds pulse and you might think you’re in the jump yourself. In the same vein, all of the action driven scenes sound great, with good use the surrounds and an overall active presence. But when the action dies down, the audio crawls into a hole and dies. The talkative scenes just lack any kind of atmosphere or depth, which is a shame. These scenes could have used a boost, even if just to add some realism. So a mixed bag here, but solid overall. This disc also includes French and Spanish language tracks, as well as subtitles in English and Spanish.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Exclusive to this Blu-ray release is a picture in picture option that lets you view detailed tours of the locations as you watch, in case you skipped the Jumping Around the World featurette. The PIP option offers more depth and details on the locations however, so it is worth a look if you’re interested. In addition to the location featurette, you can watch pieces on the jump special effects and the series of books the movie is based upon. A little more substance can be found in the Jumper: Uncensored featurette, which runs just over half an hour in duration. The piece shows the trials & tribulations of the production and in truth, helps explain why the movie turned out how it did. So if you want to know why a decent idea yielded such a weak movie, then this featurette should shed some light on the subject. More insight into the problems of the shoot can be heard in the audio commentary, as director Doug Liman is joined by producers Lucas Foster and Simon Kinberg. This isn’t as candid as the featurette, but the trio do spend some time on the shoot’s limitations and why some elements didn’t come across as well as possible. You can tell all three were let down by the finished product, but they do try to put a little polish on the movie when possible. You can also view some deleted scenes, check out raw footage from three scenes, and watch a short animated graphic novel, which turned out to be quite cool. The second disc is a standard DVD with a digital copy of the movie, in case you want to watch Jumper on a portable device.