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Jumper DVD Review

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Time-Travel Sci-Fi Marred by Ludicrous Plot Leaps

I have a problem with mediocre sci-fi flicks where you have to accept a patently preposterous premise in order to enjoy the picture's subsequent plot developments. Jumper is one such an adventure, revolving around a teenager who discovers that he has the magical ability to teleport himself anywhere and anywhen in an instant, merely by directing his thoughts to another era and locale.

Directed by Doug Liman, the movie is based on the 1992 best seller of the same name by Steven Gould. It stars Hayden Christensen as David Rice, a young man who has had a hole in his soul since the day his mother (Diane Lane) disappeared into thin air, ostensibly abandoning her five year-old son to be raised alone by his father (Michael Rooker).

At the point of departure, we find a teenaged David falling through the ice after venturing onto a frozen lake to retrieve a treasured snow globe tossed there by a bully. Trapped beneath the surface where he is certain to drown, he suddenly becomes aware of his supernatural powers and saves himself by "jumping" to his local public library in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Turns out he is not alone in the world, as there are numerous other "Jumpers" who share this unique ability. However, all is not well with this race of time-travelers as they have a set of ready-made enemies in the "Paladins," a group currently led by NSA Agent Roland Cox (Samuel L. Jackson).

He believes that Jumpers are "an abomination" and is inclined to rip out the guts of any he can track down with his trusted Bowie knife. With Cox and company in hot pursuit, David is befriended by fellow Jumper Griffin (Jamie Bell) who shows him the ropes.

But it's impossible to generate any tension in this yawner, because all the hero has to do is think his way out of each successive predicament. The worst sci-fi concept since The Adventures of Pluto Nash placed Eddie Murphy on the moon.

Poor (0 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity, brief sexuality, and intense violence.
Running time: 87 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
2-Disc DVD Extras: Audio commentary by the director and two producers, a half-dozen deleted scenes, an animated short, several featurettes and 20th Century Fox trailers.

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