I come to you from behind a thinly veiled wall of protestory and shenanigans. For the nerdiest of our nerdy readers, you may have noticed some of your favorite websites have gone dark for the day. These websites range from blog hosts such as our own gracious hosts wordpress.com to social sharing sites such as reddit, to the almighty wikipedia have shut down services in an effort to raise awareness of two bills being debated in the U.S. Congress that would grant the U.S. Attorney General the power to effectively shut down any website it deems necessary. Now, technically these powers are limited to actions on websites the AG has found to be operating in violation of piracy laws loosely defined by the legislation in question. But if we have learned anything from Obama and his many Czars, those in power have no qualms about stretching the limits of their powers in an effort to exercise more of the powers beyond the scope of intention of the original powers. Power. So quelling piracy in 2012, rewriting current news in order to fuel the stagnant economy in 1984. Or simply turning U.S. into the new China. They own all our debt anyway. But enough politics.
We here at Faceplant subscribe to a much lighter view of reality. One of bad movies, retro videogames, and more comics than are healthy for three adult men. Well two. Elrood’s not big into webcomics. So on with Enosh’s movie of the week. Or is it weak movie of the Enosh? Anyway. I watched Jumper. This is 2008 action hero film starring the abominable Darth Vader as a kid named David who stumbles upon unlimited access to the world in its entirety while crashing at his local library. This misfit teenager quickly withdraws into a world in which he can do virtually anything, go anywhere, meet anyone, and all anonymously. One of his first moves is a jump behind the firewalls of a bank where he can load up on a cache of riches he promised to pay back when he can. After all, he’s just a kid. How else can experience all the world has to offer if he doesn’t have unlimited access to all it has to offer? How will he ever decide what is truly worth his time and effort without trying it all?
Fast forward eight years. Our Jumper is clearly addicted to his unique access to the world. He can’t hardly get out of bed without jumping. He’s been everywhere. He’s been to the seedy underbelly. He’s seen the seven wonders, he’s seen all the girls, their cup, and tasted the sweet life. But there is a change in the wind. And that change is one bad ass mother shut your mouth! Just talking bout Sam. That’s Sam U. L. to the rest of you. Mr. Jackson is for real and he’s here to shut down the Jumpers. After all, God did not mean for man to be everywhere at once. He did not mean for man to attain all the world’s knowledge. So he comes at our Jumper with great vengeance and furious anger for daring to access the world in a way he and the people he works for find offensive.
The movie, literally and metaphorically, jumps around quite a bit between three plot lines. We have the aforementioned pro and antagonist. Then there is the love interest. And third we have the rivalry. The abrupt transitions between the three make it at times difficult to follow, but never more than necessary. Still the abrupt transitions hamper character development and particularly stunt the growth of the characters’ relationships with each other. Each of David’s acquaintances is never on-screen long enough for a serious relationship to develop leaving him with a series of hollow connections that rate only slightly more significant than the random girls he has apparently bedded on a time zone by time zone basis for the last 8 years.
The movie does have its positives. Or positive anyway. The actually visual effect of jumping is done well enough. The special effects department doesn’t beat you over the head with this teleportation nonsense. Instead jumping is as easy as stepping through the Stargate. It’s there, but they don’t make a big deal about it which unfortunately allows us to focus on the lackluster plot. Combine that with the teenage angst of a loner kid trying to get a girlfriend and a sappy freshman-year-of-college soundtrack and the whole beginning of the film gets pretty annoying.
The movie was designed to be the first in a trilogy, but like Lost in Space it jumps too far too fast for most audiences and the next installment never panned out. We are left with little more than a cursory introduction to the concept of jumping and the forces that wish to control the jumpers. Afterall, what fun would it be if Hayden Christensen was the only one? The ending leaves the greater conflicts completely unresolved while bringing to the forefront a much more significant conflict that is never fully addressed.
While something in the back of my mind was deeply concerned for David’s future and the future of all Jumpers world-wide, I never found myself more than casually interested in the movie as a whole.