Trailer Blazer: 'Jumper' redux

The last trailer we saw for Doug Liman’s sci-fi flick Jumper (opening Feb. 14) was just a teaser. More of a complete and utter mystifier, to be perfectly honest — and mystified is what PopWatch’s Marc Bernardin was at the time: "The special effects are cool and all, but I have no idea what this movie’s about." Harsh but true, folks. Well, Fox recently put out a second trailer which adds some new things…

…such as an actual semblance of a plot. I’m gathering that Hayden Christensen’s character discovers his teleporting talent in a childhood accident, then grows up into the super-powered layabout from the last trailer. (Still apparating from his couch to his fridge!) Can’t quite tell whether Samuel L. Jackson is out to protect him or if he’s one of the evil dudes who wants to destroy all teleporters, but that’s probably the point. This trailer also gives us some more context for Rachel Bilson’s role — she’s not just some random lady asking Christensen not to lie, she’s his girlfriend and she’s also being hunted by those aforementioned evil dudes. Not the most original or profound characterization in the history of cinema, but at least we’re getting a sense of this thing’s narrative arc. Plus, those CGI effects are still really sweet.

That leaves us with the troublesome matter of Jamie Bell — actually, Bernardin’s right, there is absolutely no reason to call this kid anything other than Billy Elliot. Anyway, I am still in the dark about what Billy’s doing in this movie. But that’s a small price to pay for a film that, overall, looks like a high-stakes reboot of The Tomorrow People, which I was totally obsessed with for a portion of my youth. (Megabyte!) I am hereby upgrading Jumper from "meh" to "may well see" on my list of early-’08 movies. Are you, P-Dubs, or is this trailer still too, well, jumpy to entice you?

Comments (12 total) Add your comment
  • C. A. Bridges

    I’m undecided, mainly because it looks like the story from the original book – “Jumper,” by Steven Gould, long one of my favorites – has been Hollywooded beyond recognition. The book has no mythology or jumper war, just a single guy dealing with the ramifications of his newfound ability. I guess it didn’t have enough chase scenes…

  • Cinderella

    So I had to click that “Tomorrow People” link out of curiosity, and oh my god! Thank you Simon!!! I have for years remembered a show from the 90’s that aired on Nickelodeon that was about superpowered teenagers, but I’ve never been able to recall the name or who was in it, and whenever I’ve asked friends, they just look at me like I’m crazy! But now I know I’m not! lol I loved that show! Um, to stay on topic though, I might add this movie to my Neflix queue, but I can’t see myself going to the theater.

  • Katie

    I too have been bringing up “The Tomorrow People” to friends who have no idea what I am talking about. I’m glad to know that it was a real show (a fantastic one at that) and that they did have British accents like I remember since once I said that people really thought I was making it up (English show on Nick, no way basically).
    Now if only people could remember Count Duckula as well.

  • den

    The author of the ‘Jumper’ books has written a new book titled, ‘Jumper: Griffin’s Story’ which both introduces Jamie Bell’s character and acts as a mythology bridge between the books and the movie.

  • LaLa

    Hayden Christensen – no
    Rachel Bilson – no
    Samuel L. Jackson – okay
    Jamie Bell/Billy Elliot – okay
    hmm I’m torn. I think Hayden’s whiny acting may keep me away. I’ll just read the book, I guess.

  • Ceballos

    Simon, I usually enjoy your writing but I think you’re way off on this.
    Not so much on “Jumper” itself, because I’m lukewarm at best about it (Hayden Christensen’s nutguard from “Shattered Glass” may well disappear if he doesn’t deliver in this movie).
    But rather it’s your whole critique of the trailer. First you mention the teaser didn’t have plot in it. Well, it’s a teaser! Usually, it’s less than a minute in length and is meant to entice you and leave you wanting more (for example, the “Cloverfield” teaser didn’t have any “semblance of plot”, but still delivered).
    Now for this second, more in-depth trailer you complain that Rachel Bilson’s character isn’t fully fleshed out and that we don’t know where Samuel L. Jackson is coming from. I mean, do would you rather have the whole movie laid out for you before you see it?
    I don’t get it: some people complain when trailers give away too much, now we’re gonna bash them for not giving up enough.

  • Ceballos

    I’ll now go back to doing something more important than putting up a semi-impassioned defense of the trailer to “Jumper”. (sigh)

  • katie

    I actually am really looking forward to this! I had never heard of it before but the trailer has definitely gotten me interested. Plus I think people give Hayden a hard time, I think he was amazing in Shattered Glass. He will do a good job here!

  • mei

    Honestly, what’s your problem? No better way to vent your frustration? Suppose you were devastated when Ben Affleck finally did something right (Hollywoodland, GoneBabyGone), so now you can’t pick on him for a while – but Jamie Bell, for goodness’ sake?
    Being satirical, witty and funny is an art form – see the Fug Girls, for instance – and I happen to enjoy it. But you’re as far from art as a monkey with a paintbrush is from Michelangelo (who is not a turtle, in case you’re not aware), and you’re as far from funny as, say, the phone book.
    You’re ruining the fun of ew right now. I hear funnier, wittier, comments on pop culture around the table during any coffee break at work. And you guys get paid. Why?

  • Fire

    If I had known before I watched the trailer that the plot would be so different from the books I probably wouldn’t have bothered, and I certainly wouldn’t have gone to see the movie… but darn it all if the trailer doesn’t make it look awesome. And anyway, it’s by the guy who did the Bourne Identity and Mr and Mrs Smith so it can’t be all bad can it?
    Still, I highly suggest reading the books, they’re fantastic and not the typical sci-fi/superhero plot lines that you would assume. Thanks, Den, for mentioning the third book! I’ll have to find it before the movie comes out.

  • Corwin

    It’s odd that they had to destroy the plot of the original so much, with or without Gould’s approval. Jumper could have been adapted, especially with the addition of elements from Reflex, into a good Hollywood movie without having to change so much of the basic construction of the Jumper universe.

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