Billed as "Bourne meets the Matrix", director Doug Liman's latest yarn amounts to nothing more then a pedestrian science fiction flick, high on impressive fight and location shots, but low on plot and devoid of a plausible hero.
David Rice (Thieriot) is a typically downtrodden teen aching to be free from a life traumatised by bullying in school; an abusive father (Rooker); and an absent mother (Lane).
Wanting to escape from his home and school life, one day he stumbles upon a gift for being able to teleport himself to anywhere in the world just by thinking about that place. Armed with such powers, David leaves his hometown of Ann Arbor for New York, where he sets about robbing banks and living the high-life.
Jump forward eight years and David (now played by Christensen) is living a playboy lifestyle jumping from New York for a night out in London before surfing in Australia and eating lunch on top of the Sphinx.
Unknown to David though, he is being hunted by Roland (Jackson), a member of a secret organisation known as Paladins, whose aim is to eradicate all 'Jumpers' on religious grounds or some other nonsense.
It isn't long before Roland is on David's tail and our 'confused hero' retreats to his hometown to seek comfort in 'love interest' Millie (Bilson). Whisking her off to Rome, we then meet Griffin (Bell), a wise-cracking English Jumper who reluctantly takes David under his wing.
A paint-by-numbers farce, 'Jumper' is populated by the usual one-dimensional clichéd characters. Director Liman makes use of some impressive locations - notably the Coliseum in Rome where he gained unprecedented access - though very few are fleshed out.
As the leading character, Christensen's David is wholly unlikeable with the actor playing the same misunderstood, spoilt, angry and selfish teen he played in 'Star Wars'. He also turns in a similarly wooden performance in the process. By the finale you'll be cheering for his demise in the hope of preventing any future sequels.
If the film has one star, then it's Bell's cheeky Griffin who, though essentially a good guy, has a streak of badness in him you can't help but side with. Turning in an impressive performance, Bell steals each scene he's in and would mark a far better option as the lead player in any of the future sequels 'Jumper' so obviously sets itself up for.
Indeed the film's non-ending typifies the farce. Even within the film's far-fetched concept, the bizarre close defies logic. What we're left with is a mess, doubtlessly similar to Liman's cutting room floor.
Condensed to 88 minutes (it could have been done in 20, so thin is the 'cat and mouse' plot) Liman's initial submission more than likely ended up with more chops than a high street butcher.
Dull after its initial burst of energy, 'Jumper' could have been so much more impressive. Liman obviously hasn't learnt from his work on 'The Bourne Identity' that a franchise's success stems from strong characters and an engaging plot rather than jump cuts and CGI. Rather, he should quietly file this next to the other turkey in his canon, the awful 'Mr And Mrs Smith' and pretend like it never happened.