Monday, December 23, 2013

Might as Well Jump

In the film quiz I recently posted, I said this about Jumper (2008):
I am a big fan on Stephen Gould's intelligent young-adult SF novels, including this one. Based on the reviews, I assumed that they had missed the whole point, dropping the thoughtful investigation of what a normal nerdy kid would do if he found out how to teleport, and made a stupid action movie. Which was kind of true, and kind of wasn't.
Let me elucidate. Gould's science-fiction style is rather old-school. He tends to take a premise and work out the details. Our hero can teleport: What are the limits? What are the rules? What happens to his angular momentum when he travels to the other side of the world? Also, what does a fundamentally decent kid do with that power?

Well, this movie doesn't get into this, really. But it is still in the movie - our jumpers come out of long jumps sliding to the side, all the jumpers have pictures of places so they can visualize target locations, but they never really explain it. It's just there for people who have read the book. Not that they are likely to appreciate it.

Christian Hayden as hero is not bad, not great, but his buddy, played by Jamie Bell, is a lot more fun. Samuel L. Jackson as the white-haired anti-jumper fanatic is, too.

On the whole, this is not a good adaptation of a great SF story. But it is much better than you might expect. I wish it was good enough to get a sequel.

No comments: