Making the Grades
Imagine being able to transport yourself anywhere in the world just by willing it. It's a talent David Rice (Max Theriot) discovers while being bullied in high school. After considering the possibilities his new ability presents, the 15-year-old decides to follow in his mother's (Diane Lane) footsteps and run away from his emotionally distant father (Michael Rooker).
Now with a few years under his belt, David (Hayden Christensen) is a materialistic young adult living comfortably in a New York City high rise. He's perfected the art of "jumping" to the point of rarely using regular means of travel. He supports his lavish lifestyle by dropping into bank vaults and picking up wads of cash whenever he needs them. The rest of his time is spent darting around the world, romping with beautiful women, enjoying exotic locations and sneaking into restricted zones.
On a whim, he decides to visit his hometown where he finds his high school crush, Millie (Rachel Bilsosn), toiling away as a barmaid. Inviting her to come to Rome, he books two tickets via a conventional travel mode. But David's foreign adventure is disrupted when he discovers another jumper. Griffin (Jamie Bell), a more savvy and experienced teleporter is only steps ahead of Roland (Samuel L. Jackson) and the rest of the Paladins, a quasi-religious group of fanatics intent on killing the jumpers.
Like David's erratic leaps across the continents, the script takes some huge bounds in logic. The source of David's powers is unexplained and although the conflict between the Paladins and jumpers is centuries old, the reason for the rancorous relationship is never revealed. However, once the pursuers capture a jumper -- using their electrified, tazer-like weapons -- the victim is brutally stabbed to death before they can use their abilities to do evil. (Apparently the hordes of stolen money and merchandise David has already collected are not considered to be unscrupulous, nor is driving at excessive speeds through crowded city streets.)
In his gravest voice, Roland reminds David that every action has a consequence, but the reality is very few if any penalties are shown for anyone. Drinking, fistfights, premarital relations, an extreme sexual expletive and hand gesture along with weapons, like flame-throwers, bombs and kitchen knives, are all employed without reservation in this fast-paced action film.
Yet unlike other mutants who often use their powers to help an ailing society, David seems to find little use for his talents other than meeting his own self-serving interests. With plenty of violence and language concerns throughout this adventure, the famous locations this world traveler visits might be beautiful to look at, but parents likely won't be jumping to take their kids to see them.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Jumper.
How does David’s use of his mutant powers differ than other characters like Spiderman or the Fantastic Four?
What makes Millie suspicious of David’s explanation of his wealth? Why is he hesitant to let her in on his secret?
If you could “jump” anywhere in the world, where would you choose to visit first?