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Jumper sets worldwide backdrop

Countless classic and modern superhero movies all share the same basic storyline: the protagonist discovers or inherits their powers and decide to use the for the greater good of mankind. They eventually save the world from complete domination, destruction and incineration (or all of the above) and inevitably getting the girl of their dreams.

Jumper, however, varies from the typical superhero plot. Instead of using his powers for good, David Rice (Hayden Christenson) decides to lead a life of sin and deceit.

Rice discovers his power in the typical superhero fashion: during a life or death situation. At fifteen, the unpopular teen is bullied by cruel classmates. To prove he cares for his crush, he ventures onto a frozen lake to retrieve his gift to her.

In a predictable twist of fate, the ice breaks. One minute Rice is plunging through a river of icy cold water, trapped under the sheet of ice and struggling for his life; the next, Rice is in the middle of the library, soaking wet and freezing cold.

He hurries back to his house and, while avoiding his alcoholic father, rushes to his room, where he begins to ponder his new power.

As he perfects his ‘gift’ of teleportation, Rice realizes that he has the power to go appear anywhere he has once been or seen. At fifteen, he escapes his oppressive home life to live in New York City.

Soon he finds a way to teleport himself into a bank vault where he steals a large sum of cash, followed by an amusing scene in which Rice literally ‘rolls in the green’.

Eight years and a few robberies later, he is living the good life in New York, where he can transport anywhere he wants. From picking up college girls in London to surfing in Fiji, Rice lives an absolutely care-free life until a man from named Roland (Samuel L. Jackson), who seems to know just a little too much about his ability, shows up in his apartment.

Roland attacks Rice, who narrowly escapes. He soon finds himself in a game of high-stakes cat and mouse with a secret religious group, called the Paladins, who believe that any and all with the power to Jump should be exterminated.

With help from another Jumper, Griffin (Jamie Bell), Rice battles the Paladins and fights to save those close to him, including his old high school crush, Millie (Rachel Bilson).

Jumper?s refusal to fall into the typical superhero restrains is refreshing and different. The use of a ?villain? helps gave the movie a fresh spin on cliche topics.

Extensive use of special effects and grand settings not only allow for effectual eye candy but also make Jumper an edge-of-your-seat experience. The characters Jump all over the world and the audience is constantly introduced to fresh backdrops, whether it be the crowded streets and flashing billboards of Hong Kong or beneath the Colosseum in Rome.

Even during the battles between Griffin, Rice and Roland along with his henchmen, director Doug Liman (director of the Bourne Identity made sure to add in as many worldwide scenes as possible without getting too jumbled or confusing.

A positive element is seen as Rice eventually starts using his powers for the good of those around him instead of for his own profit, setting the character between the lines of clear-cut good and evil.

While Jumper did not maintain a deep underlying theme or distracting side-plots, the main character develops vastly over the course of the movie. Changes in morals and views of the main character, Rice, are present throughout the movie.

However, while Rice himself underwent a personal transformation, the lack of underlying plots and themes causes Jumper to lose some of its appeal. Side-plots often assist films in keeping the audience interested in multiple stories.

Jumper?s need for little thought and a sense of humor make this movie suitable as an after-school flick or weekend outing for high school students.

Jumper is rated PG-13 for intense action sequences and language. For tickets and show times visit Fandango. For more information on movie ratings visit MPAA.org.

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