The best thing about Jumper is that it finally puts to rest this ridiculous notion that Hayden Christensen can act.
No more can people claim that his woeful performances in Star Wars II and III were all down to George's shoddy dialogue. No more can people point to his emolicious role in Life as a House or the 'potential' he displayed in Shattered Glass and claim that Brando-like greatness is just around the corner.
This is it, folks. This was his big chance. It might not have been the weightiest of roles, but it was definitely something for him to work with.
I can just see the pitch:
"Hayden, you'll be playing a 'jumper' . . . a guy who can teleport himself anywhere in the world he wants. It's the ultimate adolescent fantasy and should be a whole lot of fun."
"Hmmm. Fun. Would I have to smile? Cause I don't do that."
"Well . . . "
"I'm sure we can find the emo angle in all this."
And find it he does. What should have been a rollicking chase movie covering the four corners of the globe turns into a passable action movie intercut with Christensen scowling at the camera.
What really throws Christensen's intransigence into stark relief is his fellow actors. They're spouting dialogue of similar (admittedly low) quality, but they manage to make it sound convincing. And more importantly, Fun.
Jamie Bell, a million miles from little Billy Elliott, is great as a dimension-jumping bovver boy getting off on the power of it all. Sam Jackson, as the hunter on the trail of the Jumpers, shows us just what would have happened if Jules Winnfield had taken a government job. Even Diane Lane, criminally underused with about three minutes of screen time, manages to act Christensen under the table.
Jumper is definitely worth seeing if you're into this kind of thing, but sadly it's about half the film it could have been.
2.5 out of 5