I saw this movie without reading the book, which is rare for me. After watching the movie I am now very interested in reading the book. This movies takes place in a universe where people have the telepathic ability to "jump" from jump site to jump site by creating tears that they are able to go through. Naturally this leads a group of people, the Paladins, to hunt down the jumpers, apparently starting in the middle ages, though it is unclear how they hunted them down without the benefits of technology. The only reason really given for hunting down the jumpers is that it is unnatural to jump, that only God should have the power to be anywhere at anytime. Now this leads to the usual unasked question "if only God should be allowed to be anywhere at anytime why would he give the ability to these jumpers"?
The obvious answer is to tempt them into using the power, especially because the idea of someone being born evil seems ludicrous at best. This makes us ask why don't the Paladins try to educate the jumpers about not using their powers? For instance why did Davy's mom leave instead of trying to raise him as a good jumper, who knows that his powers are not to be used, or so that he doesn't misuse them, but use them for something good, like saving trapped people. The answer is the Paladins appear to be a very prejudiced organization, and firmly believe that all jumpers are bad or will go bad, simply because they were born with this power, that the jumpers are essentially born evil and must be killed.
Davy's mom seems to firmly believe in the organizations stance, but she does seem to have motherly concern for her son, and strangely, going against what she believes, wants to give him a chance. This chance seems to be more of allowing him to live his good life before he goes bad, that he should have the chance to go bad before being killed. At the end of the movie Davy's mom says she will hunt him down, believing that he has reached the maturity of his powers and must now have gone bad.
There seems to be a vicious circle going on, where the Paladins say that the jumpers are evil, causing them to go bad. The paladins seems to force the jumpers into a situation where they will ultimately end up doing bad things, killing their parents and attempting to kill them when they turn five. Jumpers' homes are often broken up, and in the case of Davy his mother left him, with a abusive yet protective father. This cycle has probably been going on since the middle ages, where the condemned are condemned for being condemned. This makes us question whether these jumpers are really going bad, or are in fact fighting a righteous cause against repression. Though the fact they are fighting for a cause seems to be deterred by the fact that they steal for a living, the way they are hunted forces them to turn to crime to get by, for if they try to get any real job they will be caught rather quickly. The paladins don't leave any room for redemption, and seem there simply to convict, without reasoning, any and every jumper they can find.
Now with any powers there come limitations. You can not jump to a place you haven't been to, or seen with your own eyes. Visualization seems to be a key part of this as pictures help jumpers find their jump sites. You can't jump something that is stationary, though Davy manages to jump a room, with help of the tethers, because the room deattached from the building becoming mobile. Electricity seems to be their big weakness, making it hard, but not impossible to jump. However when they are tethered to electric current, they are forced to take it along with them as in the case of the building.
In the end Davy seems to undergo a great change of character when he becomes hunted. Although he originally intended to return the money he took, he never really did, and he was becoming more and more inclined to play by the rules and laws. Even when he is initially targeted he shrugs it off, but when he puts Millie in danger he gets a change of heart. He would often have sex with women around the world, but it seems very unfulfilling for him, and he was often bored afterwards and would jump away. However with Millie he was very interested in staying around, for he does care about her very much, enough to risk his life protecting her. In the end he decides he is not a killer like Griffin and does not kill Roland. This seems to have some kind of affect upon Roland though it is not really clear what kind of affect. Roland spent his entire life thinking if you're a jumper you're bad and must be killed. However Davy appears to be different and Roland might not change his mind about jumpers, but he might question it at the very least.
Chris Whyatt - 2011-03-07 06:34:47:
It's likely been quite a while since you wrote this but it is your fault I read the book so I felt compelled to tell you about it (I got to your site via /r/Winnipeg). The movie is absolutely nothing like the book, comically so even. Apart from the teleporting, his name being Davy, and his mother and Millie being characters, it would seem that there is not a single thing similar... I kept waiting for it to get more like the movie but it never did. The book is about terrorism and his quest for revenge. Anyhow, if you never did read the book, I'd still recommend it because it was an entertaining read, just don't expect anything like the movie.