So if anything, "Jumper" should be a lot of fun to watch, unchained as it is from the usual rules of the game. But the science-fiction fantasy, in which Hayden Christensen somnambulates through the role of a young man with genetic teleporting powers, is oddly inert. It suffers from long, talky sequences and a shocking lack of visual imagination. It's that rare genre picture targeted to teens and young adults that suffers from underkill.
Part of the problem is Christensen, who has never managed to project anything but a sullen air of lazy entitlement. That persona actually fits his character, David Rice, who uses his teleporting powers for everything from robbing banks to scooting down the couch to grab the remote. He's a spoiled, petulant creep, so when he's visited by a mysterious stranger named Roland, who proceeds to beat the stuffing out of him, it's difficult to know whom to root for.
Roland, by the way, is played by Samuel L. Jackson in a performance that, considered in tandem with "Snakes on a Plane," seems designed to dissuade audiences from ever taking him seriously again. Roland is a soldier in a centuries-long war between Jumpers and Palladins, the latter of whom insist that omnipotence should be the purview of the Big Teleporter Upstairs.
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