Jumper 3D review (3D Blu-ray)

2008’s Jumper did not exactly set the world’s box office ablaze, so it seems a strange choice for a 3D Blu-ray re-issue. However, as any early adopter of the format will tell you, content has been drying up in 2013. There simply isn’t a great deal of 3D material being released, and certain studios have taken to deleting early releases and/or releasing them in multiple formats with the 3D version at an eye-watering price point (yeah Disney, I’m looking at you, how much for John Carter?) Given that a 3D conversion takes time, you can see last year’s blue sky thinking in reissues such as this and Top Gun. Sadly for the few who enjoy the home 3D experience (and I know that is possibly two of you), where the theatrical 3D is ailing, home 3D is already receiving the last rites. So although committed to conversions, the results are being dribbled out as under the radar as possible.

For those of you fortunate enough not to be familiar with Liman’s wannabe SF franchise starter, here’s a quick rundown. David Rice (initially Max Thieriot, and later Christensen) is a downtrodden high school student who nearly dies when he falls under the ice of a frozen pond attempting to impress a girl. At the point of death, Rice discovers the ability to teleport. In true superhero origin fashion, as he experiments with his new power, he forgets the "responsibility" bit and embarks upon a playboy lifestyle funded by zapping himself into bank vaults. Complications ensue when Rice discovers that there is a secret organisation of lead by Roland (a silver haired and barely trying by this point Jackson). Called Paladins, they are devoted to tracking and eliminating the Jumpers. The situation becomes even more complicated when one-man Jumper resistance army called Griffin (Bell) shows up.

As a pilot for a TV series this might have convinced you to watch a second episode, but as a film it’s terribly lazy and full of its own shit. There are two chief problems with the film. Firstly the hero is a self-centred, selfish arsehole. Usually the blame for this is placed firmly on Christensen’s shoulders. This is unfair, as the actor is given no more to work with than he was in the Star Wars prequels (in which no-one is good). There is a scene where we get to see Rice watch news footage of flood survivors as the news anchor pointedly intones "they need a miracle", yet he just sits there and munches on his cornflakes. What a dick! Secondly, this isn’t a standalone film but another example of the franchise obsession ruining movies. So convinced were Fox that Jumper would make X amount of dollars they greenlit a film in which nothing is properly explored, major plotlines are left hanging, and Kristen Stewart is introduced for about three seconds right at the end clearly to be picked up in the sequel (which never materialised).

So, an odd choice to convert to 3D then. Or it would be if it looked liked they actually bothered. Sadly, this conversion is so half-arsed you can watch 70% of the film with the glasses off. There is a minor illusion of depth to some helicopter shots of international locations. Frankly, it looks like one of those illuminated bass-relief paintings you used to find in bad Brick Lane restaurants in the 80s. There is a scene where Bell repeatedly waves a baseball bat around, and… nothing happens. Most 3D sets have a 2D to 3D button, hit that during an episode of Cash in the Attic and you will get a more dynamic 3D experience than this. Finally, the stereoscopic effects just make already poorly realised and confusing action scenes even harder to follow.

3D QUALITY ★★ Because it is not actively horrible in the migraine-inducing sense.


Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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