Thursday, 21 February 2008

Jumping Just Isn't Healthy Anymore

I'm finding it harder and harder to find excuses as to why my post count hasn't been rising lately. Already so early in the blogging, let's be dramatic and call it an era, and I'm shunning my responsibilities of supplying you, the loyal reader, with our ever-present, ever-important opinions!

Suuuure, I could blame it on work, or laziness, or even the fragment of a social life that I vigilantly clutch to my chest, but let's be ambiguous and say, no matter how much I toil away trying to find her, my princess is still in another godforsaken castle.

Far be it from me to actually use this blog to tell you about the ongoing mini-struggles that occur in my life; those are for me and my large supply of poptarts to deal with. Instead, I'll only provide you with morsels related to games, movies and things that are fun. Well, unless it's a particularly funny struggle. Then I got your back.

For the second time this year I ventured into the outside with my sights set on seeing another film. My previous outing to see Cloverfield with Octopus was an absolute delight and it's safe to say there was an abundance of enjoyment to be had. Unfortunately for Jumper, the next film I decided to see, this meant that the bar was raised almost as high as the Cloverfield monster itself. Hang on, sorry, I guess that could be considered as a spoiler. For the record, the Cloverfield monster isn't tall at all. I'd even go as far as to say it was of medium height.

Anyway, back on the subject of Jumper, it's safe to say I was not disappointed. Not because Jumper compared to Cloverfield (well to be honest, it could be compared. But that's like comparing a kick to the crotch to being smothered with pure-bred awesome*) but because I never held my expectations very high for it, it ended up surpassing them. Not by much, but enough for me to leave the cinema actually with some sweets left, for I was too impressed most of the time that I couldn't possibly eat.

Let's get down to the actual reviewing though (cue collective groan). Jumper at it's roots is an adventure, 'sci-fi'y film thing based around a kid called David (Hayden Christensen) who suddenly finds he has the power to teleport or 'jump' to any location he wants. There's some people called the Paladins who are just essentially religious extremists, or at least one of them is, thank you Samuel. L. Jackson, trying to kill Jumpers (capitalized of the 'J' to avoid confusion and childish giggling) for having the power of being 'in all places at once', a power only God should have. From then on it's essentially an orgasmic thrill-ride of action and fun, leading characters through emotional journeys with the viewer, ending in a satisfying climax.

Or at least that's probably what it intended to do, but I think some of these ideas got lost in the production, bless 'em. Instead, it was a fun movie to watch, where we got to witness one character's emotional development while the viewer just kind of tagged along, that ended in an adequate conclusion, but altogether leaving me unsatisfied.

There are several niggles I had with the movie, to put it gently. Firstly, there wasn't really much jumping to be had. I don't mean the teleportation kind, I mean the 'bend-your-knees-and-propel-yourself-from-the-ground-a-foot-or-two' kind. Not really the greatest niggle of them all and it's kind of stupid saying this, but when I first heard about the film, my mind had already made up what it's going to be like. It had imagined it to be focused on some sort of kangaroo (because they Jump) who gets into dodgy dealings with the mafia and has to repay his debt by whacking a few guys, but eventually getting emotionally involved with a female kangaroo who is the daughter of one of his targets, altogether ending in an epic decision whether he can choose to follow his heart and not kill her father, or be hunted down by the Australian mafia for the rest of his life. In the outback.

I know I practically just described Kangaroo Jack with guns and a plot line, but once my mind had made itself up, it's hard not to get it to change.

Another niggle I had with the film was with the casting of Hayden Christensen as the main character. For those of you who don't know, Hayden is the actor who played the older version of Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars films, episodes 2 and 3. Yes those ones.

Let me first get this across; I'm fine with the acting that Hayden delivered. I'm not that good of a critic when it comes to these things, but I know he didn't do a bad job of it. I'm sure he also sold a few tickets because of his frustratingly charming good looks. What I'm slightly peeved at is that when you're casting for a character who's got a prominent supernatural power, don't cast an actor who's notorious for previously playing a character with a goddamn prominent supernatural power.

The first time Hayden 'jumped' in the film, the immediate thought that ran through my head was "Wait, hang on. Did he just use the Force? Does that make him a Jedi? Or is he actually a Sith? Does this mean he's going to be using his jumping powers for the good of the Republic? Is that a lightsaber in his pocket? Where's all the other Jedi? Oh God I hope Jar Jar isn't in this." When you're a nerd like I am, it's hard to get over the initial 'omigod its anakin from star warz' train of thought. And when I was finally enjoying the film enough that I could forget about the presence of a Sith Lord, I was already halfway in.

I've a few other niggles, but they'd be spoilers, and I would not want to ruin the film for you. Yes, that's right, I recommend you watch this film. Don't ask me why, as I will not be able to tell you. At least not without a professional delving deep into my psyche.

And before you ask, no, it was not a lightsaber in his pocket, and neither was he just happy to see me.

*Yes, it does exist. You can get it in spreadable form too.
-Aquatic Wanderer


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