Making Superheroes Modern

With the hyperrealistic Jumper, the superhero genre is growing up.

Director Doug Liman (Swingers, The Bourne Identitiy) doesn’t think your favorite superhero movies are very realistic. “A 17-year-old with superpowers is going to put on a silly suit and fight crime?” The man has a point. In a world where the Man of Steel holds down a boring nine-to-five and Peter Parker won’t divulge the one secret guaranteed to get him laid, the super among us can be pretty damn dull. So can a superhero movie succeed when logic isn’t thrown out the window? According to the hotly anticipated Jumper, absolutely. When David Rice (Hayden Christensen) wakes up one day and realizes he can teleport, he doesn’t start rescuing kittens from trees. Instead, our “hero” starts robbing banks.

But like all badass superpowers, this one comes with a price, and soon David finds himself in the middle of an age-old war between jumpers and an organization—led by an awesomely white-haired Samuel L. Jackson—that has sworn to kill them. Jumper might have ditched the doting aunts and British butlers, but it still has what every super­hero movie needs: stunning visual effects and, well, an even more stunning Rachel Bilson as David’s girlfriend, Millie. It all makes for what could be a genre-changing recipe. “In my loftiest hopes,” says Liman, “Jumper will make other superhero films feel as dated as Bourne Identity made other action films feel.”