He looks cool right? We still like Hayden Christensen totally!
"Anywhere. Anything. Instantly."

Well that's not entirely true. They couldn't for instance, find a plot that I gave half a shit about. No sirree bob. Welcome back to the Tagline, today I'm going to be talking about Jumper, the thrilless sci-fi action movie starring Hayden Christensen, who you all probably know best as Anakin Skywalker from the Star Wars prequels. He delivers another stellar performance in this movie as David, a guy with a special power: the ability to teleport at will wherever he wants to. He uses this power to be jerk, teleport cars, impress his girlfriend (Rachel Bilson) and oh yeah, rob the shit out of banks. He is not the only person with this jumping power, and he meets Griffin, a jumper who hunts down paladins. What's a paladin? Well they are guys who hunt down jumpers, and lead among them is Roland, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson. The movie is based on a novel of the same name, by Steven Gould. I haven't read it, so I can't say for sure, but if the book was anything like the movie, then it must have been the worst book ever written in the history of the world.
So I've established that Jumper is not a good movie, but I'm never satisfied with that, so let's go down the list of things this movie did to make me hate it. This list is almost all my issues with the characters of the movie, who are generally miserable douches.

His life is so hard. He lives IN A PYRAMID FULL OF TREASURE.
1) An Unlikable Main Character: Let's talk about David for a little while. He comes from a broken home, with an alcoholic father, and is bullied in school. He discovers one day that he has his jumping power, so he runs away, setting out on his own. Okay I can sympathize with that so far. Later we see him all grown up, and he's leading a life of excitement, travelling around the world and oh yeah paying for all this by ROBBING BANKS. Now I get that nothing's for free, and he had a troubled childhood, and people make mistakes, but generally when that mistake is ROBBING BANKS they go to jail. David is an unrepentant bank robber douche. He lies to Millie (Bilson) about his real deal for as long as he can, and it isn't like he's doing it to pay for his mom's cancer treatments or something. He's doing it just because he can. Now I get that he seems like less of an asshole than Griffin (more on him in a sec) and certainly less of a lunatic that Roland (I'll get to him too) but being the least asshole in the grand triumvirate of assholes doesn't make me like you. It just makes me hate you less. The fact that David is played by Hayden Christensen, who could not convincingly portray a coma patient, does not help matters.

As a rule I don't hang out with guys who make
that face and own flamethrowers.
2) An Unlikable Supporting Character: Now let's give Griffin his lumps. Griffin is a jumper like David, who fights back against the paladins who hunt his kind. You'd think that would make Griffin a sympathetic crusader, or even a likable anti-hero, driven by revenge but with ultimately good intentions. Yeah well not really. I'd want to kill Griffin too, because he's an asshole, and also kind of a crazy person. In the fight between jumpers and paladins, I have no sympathy for either side. You can sort of see the paladin's point of view, because 'just living their lives' for the jumpers we see consists of stealing things, teleporting cars through traffic, and a lot of other amoral bullshit. You could even hope that hey, maybe he's a likable bad guy, but no, Griffin is also a sardonic asshat. At one point he decides he is going to blow up a building to kill everyone. I'm supposed to be against that because bystander girl Millie is inside but, let's face it she decided she wanted to hang out with David, so she's pretty much getting what she had coming to her isn't she?

He's had it with these motherfuckin'... well you get the picture.
3) Dumb Villains Are Dumb: Finally we come to the antagonists who, when you consider the complete lack of scruples the protagonists have, are by rights probably batting for the good guys. Well, except they don't seem to care about killing bystanders or anyone who happens to cross their path, and are at least as bad as the people they hunt. Right, forgot about that. In particular, the motivations of this organization are stupid, and based around the lamest explanation anyone has ever given for launching a crusade against a group of admittedly dangerous and generally bad people. Samuel L. remarks that jumpers are 'abominations against' capital G 'God'. Ok so the paladins are unsurprisingly motivated by religious beliefs. Well that makes sense right? The jumpers have weird powers and they use them for bad stuff, so we should get rid of them! Then he goes "only God should be able to be everywhere" ... yeah that's pretty lame. Get it because GOD IS OMNIPRESENT BUT OH WAIT THAT'S AT ONCE OOPS. Why do we even need that justification movie making guy? Can't we just go with "you are a douche Hayden, so I'm going to kill you." Apparently Roland glossed over all the parts of the bible about not blowing people up and using bystanders as hostages though (he wouldn't be a good zealot if he didn't right?). I guess with such douchey good guys, you need to most hate-worthy bad guys possible. They should try orphan eating nazis next time. Who lobby for big business and tobacco companies that sell only to kittens.

That's about all the bile I can vent about this movie, except that it did sickeningly well in theaters, grossing over 222 million against its relatively modest 85 million dollar budget. It opened at #1 against weak competition, but still its bumming me out thinking that this piece of crap made that much money.

Join me Saturday, when I will run down my favorite movies starring John Cusack!
Haha we're rich.

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