½*/**** Image A- Sound A Extras B+
starring Hayden Christensen, Jamie Bell, Rachel Bilson, Diane Lane
screenplay by David S. Goyer and Jim Uhls and Simon Kinberg, based on the novel by Steven Gould
directed by Doug Liman
by Walter Chaw Jumper is the first movie director Doug Liman hasn't been able to save with his amazing way with action sequences. Blame its glaring inconsistencies, the overuse of one nifty special effect that renders the picture's centrepiece an anticlimax, and a passel of squeezed-off performances as truncated--as brief--as the rest of the picture feels. It's over before it begins, wasn't much while it lasted, and is so brazen in its abuse of internal logic that the only audience that would see it will be irritated by it. Based on a Steven Gould cult novel I read years ago (but not long ago enough to love it), its high concept is that there are genetic anomalies among us who are capable of teleporting anywhere they've been before; the catch is that a group of witch hunters is eager to kill them because they're abominations before God. It's Highlander, essentially, or any vampire movie, a skylark about rock-star bandits that swaps immortality for the ability to zip around at will--with only some party-pooping senior citizen (it's snow-on-the-roof Samuel L. Jackson this time around, playing Illuminati-cum-Homeland Security bogie Roland) around to spoil the fun. The obligatory hot chick is dead-eyed Rachel Bilson as Millie, trading not so much up from Zach Braff in The Last Kiss as sideways to Hayden Christensen's protag "jumper" David. Millie and David have loved one another since high school, a misleadingly fun prologue tells us: what follows is about an hour of deadening, repetitive, useless nonsense that fails, completely, to provide a universe in which this stuff makes any kind of impact, even as escapism.