The new Irish film Jump had a lot of potential to be an excellent film – with a strong cast and interesting concept – but a lack of focus detracts from the overall result. The film is part black comedy, part gangster thriller, part drama and never seems particularly comfortable in any genre. Coupled with the non-chronological, multi-strand narrative, the overall effect comes across as a little confused.
Nevertheless, this gorgeous-looking picture, which is set over one eventful New Year’s Eve in Derry, is entertaining throughout and a great accomplishment given the low-budget and strict shooting schedule.
It opens with the film’s protagonist Greta (Nichola Burley), a deeply depressed woman in her twenties, standing on a bridge over the Foyle River as she is about to commit suicide. A chance meeting with Pearse (Martin McCann), a bloody-faced stranger who just moments before was dangled off the same bridge by some mobster heavies, drags her from the edge.
Greta is the daughter of menacing crime boss Feeney (Lalor Roddy), whose henchmen are responsible for the disappearance of Pearse’s younger brother. Also tied up inextricably in the plot is Johnny (Richard Dormer), a gang member looking for a fresh start, and Greta’s friends Marie (Charlene McKenna) and Dara (Valene Kane) whose innocent night out on the town takes a sharp downward turn. Their stories clash and collide in a night of coincidences and mayhem.
Performances are good across the board, with charismatic Martin McCann particularly impressing as Pearse and Good Vibrations star Richard Dormer as Johnny.
Director Kieron J Walsh (Raw, The Savage Eye) has succeeded in creating a diverting, visually arresting flick that unfortunately suffers from a touch of style over substance.