Sometimes a film can find new life either on home video or even when it makes its way to TV. One that was a waste of time in theaters could wind up being a decent time-waster at home. In the case of director Doug Liman’s Jumper, the film is every bit as bland as I remembered it. The most surprising thing is that this is from the same guy who directed The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Go. But if ever there was a case to be made against a post-conversion 3D attempt, it would have to be the recent crop of titles popping up from Twentieth Century Fox. First it was I, Robot and now Jumper crashes your 3DTV, available now. Hopefully the upcoming Predator can finally get it right.
Featuring the always-boring Hayden Christensen in the lead as David Rice, who discovers his teleporting powers at the age of 15 (played here by Max Thieriot). He leaves his abusive father and best friend Millie (played at age 15 by AnnaSophia Robb) behind. Just like the voiceover says, what else is a boy to do but start a life of crime? Teleporting in and out bank vaults and from one exotic locale to another, soon enough David is on the run from a group of Paladin’s led by Roland (Samuel L. Jackson). David must team up with fellow jumper Griffin (Jamie Bell) to save himself and Millie (Rachel Bilson) from the Paladin’s plans to take out the jumpers as Roland continually tells everyone, “Only God should have this power.”
Jumper makes the leap to 3D with the same blandness as the film itself. Both the 3D and 2D versions are available on one 50GB Blu-ray disc, along with no special features. The picture itself is still reference quality, but it appears as they attempted to strip away the film’s grain structure, which makes it seem odd at times because you can see it in a character’s face or on clothing, but nowhere in their surroundings. The 3D also features the storybook pop-up look, but mostly the image is as flat as you’d expect. Detail is still razor sharp, but the other strange thing about these titles is the cropping of their original aspect ratio. Just like they did with I,Robot, Jumper has also been blown up from 2.35:1 to a screen-filling 1.78. The 2D version is also cropped and falls prey to lots of noise.
While none of the special features have been ported over from the original Blu-ray release, at least the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track remains the same. Sometimes the sound comes across more three-dimensional than the image. Whenever an action sequence finally cues up, the sound space becomes as lively as you’d hope. Unfortunately, Jumper is a pretty quiet film, filled with lots of cheesy dialogue. But at least it’s delivered as crisp and clean as you’d expect from a newer film. Additional language tracks are available in Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital, and subtitles come in English and Spanish.
There’s not really a whole lot left to say about Jumper that wasn’t said five years ago. Had Doug Liman decided to go with a different lead—Chris Pine or Chris Evans, for example—he might have helped things along. Unfortunately, the proceedings are hampered with Christensen who just always looks bored, even when he’s supposed to be wooing Rachel Bilson. Jackson looks like the only one who knows how bad the film is, but even he doesn’t lift it above mediocre. Featuring a newly-cropped, barely 3D conversion, Jumper was clearly shoved onto home video due to its worldwide box office tally. There are rumors of a Jumper 2 somehow being made, and maybe next time they’ll replace Christensen with someone more likeable. As it stands, no one rushed out to see it in theaters and there’s absolutely no reason to rush out and double dip on this 3D re-release.