The World-Running Sequence From Jumper: A Pictorial Study in Continuity Errors

Late in the film Jumper the two titular supervillians, David and Jamie Bell, have a chase around the world while fighting over a remote control bomb detonator that Jamie wants to use to blow up a group of Samuel L. Jackson's henchmen, along with SamJac himself. David is opposed to this idea, because doing so would entail also blowing up his girlfriend, Millie.

As I watched the sequence, something occurred to me: the Jumpers are only able to move through space, not time, so the different locations they went to in this chase scene, which occurs in real time over the course of three minutes, should be either night or day depending on where they sit on the world's surface. At first glance, it seemed like they didn't, but I decided to check a little more carefully, doing my best to identify the locations and times in which each scene was taking place. We'll start in the setup for the chase, because that can establish the baseline time all this is happing around.
Here they are driving around at night in Tokyo. We don’t know exactly what time it is, but for the record, the time zone is GMT +9.
Apparently they drove around all night in their stolen car, because here they are driving up to the Tokyo Airport the next morning. We know it’s still Tokyo, because if you look closely, you can see that the cars crossing the bridge are driving on the left. Also, the big red building on the right of the image is the Tokyo Tower. Also, there’s a bit of a goof here – the colour of light seemed a little more afternoon-y to me than morning, so I did a little research.

Tokyo Tower is located to the North and East of Tokyo Bay (you can google map it by searching these co-ordinates: 35.658611,139.745556 – link: ). The bridge depicted in that shot (located almost directly SE of Tokyo Tower) runs ESE/WNW, and we’re looking basically NW in the shot. If you’ll notice, the shadow is falling to the right of the bridge, on the north side. This means that the sun is coming from the South-West of the bridge, which happens in the fall and winter in the afternoons. So they’ve used an evening shot of the bridge to stand in for an early morning shot – it’s before the chase scene starts though, so we’re not going to count it.
Now here they are in Detroit International Airport, which apparently Jamie Bell has been to before, because he jumped there with no prep or photo reference.
Note the big board, which announces that the direct flight from Rome (Really? A direct Rome-Detroit flight – This seemed strange to me at first, but a quick webternet search proved that yes, flights often go directly between those two locations. Huh.) arrived at 1:55 Local time. Of course, this shot was clearly repurposed from another scene, since all the categories on the board are written in Czech, and the board has a suspicious number of European locations…

So despite the fact that the board is actually listing departures as opposed to arrivals, and is in Prague, rather than Detroit , I’m going to take the filmmakers’ intent as read, and assume that when we see a 28/10/2007 and a 13:55 with the word Rome beside it, the intent was to make the audiece think that the plane arrived at around 2PM on October 28th, 2007. So when Jamie Bell announces that the plane ‘landed an hour ago’, that means at present in the film, it’s approximately 3PM. Also, maybe you could have beaten the plane if you hadn’t been speeding around Tokyo all night for no reason. Just a thought.
So let’s say, as our baseline for the rest of the chase sequence, that by the time David has tracked Millie down in this scene, it’s 3:30 PM, Central Standard Time (GMT–6).
Here they are, jumped to Jamie Bell’s supervillain lair, which is in a desert somewhere. Given the characters’ predilection for hanging out in Egypt, and the heiroglyphics all over that wall, we’re going to guess Northeastern Africa. Egypt’s time zone is GMT+2, making it 11:30PM Local Time in this scene.
Here Jamie Bell has jumped to London to grab a bus and throw it at SamJac. It’s GMT, which means 9:30PM Local Time, so we’re good again. Note the poor man sitting in the driver’s seat. He has no idea what awful fate is about to befall him.

Here’s what Jamie does with the bus, clearly killing the driver:
In case it’s not clear, that last image was the bus crashing through a stone wall. That’ll teach that guy to drive a double-decker in London! Luckily it was out of service, so presumably just the one person was killed.
Here the Boys have warped back to the Colliseum, which is GMT+1, or 10:30PM Local Time.
Now they’re atop the great Pyramid in Egypt, where it’s apparently the middle of the afternoon, despite Giza being, as mentioned above, GMT+2, putting the local time in this scene at 11:30PM.
This one’s a little harder to judge, since we just see them on a bridge, but there are a few clues. Once again, we’re in a left-hand drive country, and the cars look like small Japanese models, so I’m guessing we’re on the Tokyo bridge from earlier, which puts the time at GMT+9, or 6:30 AM Local Time. The shadows in this scene aren’t nearly as long as they would be just thirty minutes after sunrise, so this is the second time they’ve gotten the time of day wrong in Japan.
Now I’m at a loss, since our only point of reference is that it’s the middle of the desert, and there’s a lot of construction going on in the background. So huge construction projects in the middle of the desert screams ‘oil-rich middle-eastern country’. But which one?
I found the building in this shot instantly familiar, and remembered that it was probably in Dubai. A quick google image search for ‘Dubai buildings’ identified it as Burj Al-Arab (Tower of the Arabs) in the United Arab Emirates. So in this scene the time is GMT+4, or 1:30 AM Local Time.
Next they jump to New York, with its famous yellow cabs, where it’s GMT-5, or 4:30PM Local Time. To me, the sky looks more like early-morning, but that’s utterly crazy as nitpicks go, so let’s move on.
Then they jump off the Empire State building, and jump into:
A children’s pool somewhere in the world. It has to be somewhere where fair-skinned children frolic in modern pools with inflatable sharks, it’s daylight at 21:30GMT, and it’s warm enough to be swimming on October 28th/29th (time zone dependant). Since it’s impossible to tell where this scene is taking place, or even which of the two of them jumped them there, I can’t credit this one as being wrong or right. This scene does raise quesitons about just how momentum works in the world of the jumpers, though. Since they were falling at terminal velocity when they landed in this community pool, which could be at most 10-12 feet deep, should they not have been very killed?
From there they jump to either the Arctic or Antarctica. We’re given no idea which it is, so we can’t say whether the time of say makes sense at all. If it’s Antarctica, then the season’s summer, and it’s plausible that it’s light no matter what time zone they jumped into. In the Arctic, on the other hand, it’s bordering on winter, and it could easily be dark in just about any time zone. Again, we can’t make a judgement on this one, since it’s not clear where the scene is set.
Then Jamie Bell teleports a speeding truck into David (the dark blur indicated by the arrow), which somehow doesn’t kill him. Note the blurry image of the screaming, terrified man in the driver’s seat.
David then teleports fimself, the truck, driver, and Jamie Bell to snowy, war-torn Chechnya, where the first thing we hear are the sounds of AKs firing nearby.
Note the sign on the door lists the truck as belonging to the Ramirez and Sons company, meaning that Jamie Bell teleported from Antarctica to somewhere in Central or South America, jumped into the passenger seat, then jumped it at David, who then jumped it to Chechnya.
And here’s a tank driving over the truck that, as far as we can tell, still contained Ramirez or one of his hijos. Nice work on that one, David 1.
As if the tanks and soldiers with AKs weren’t enough evidence, Jamie Bell helpfully announces that he recognizes this area as being in Chechnya, which is GMT+3, which puts the local time for this scene at 12:30AM.

So here’s the final accounting, in the order the film displayed the locations. Listed by (Location and time zone), at (Local Time). (Time of day dsiplayed on film), (Whether that’s the correct time of day or not based on the time zone that location is in).

So our Base location reads – Ann Arbor Michigan (GMT-6) at 3:30PM, Local Time. Daytime, Correct.

1 – Jamie Bell’s Supervillain Lair, Egypt (GMT+2) at 11:30PM Local Time. Nighttime, Correct.
2 – London, England (GMT) at 9:30PM Local Time. Nightime, Correct.
3 – The Colliseum, Italy (GMT+1) at 10:30PM Local Time. Nighttime, Correct.
4 – Giza, Egypt (GMT+2) at 11:30AM Local Time. Daytime, Incorrect.
5 – Tokyo, Japan (GMT+9) at 6:30AM Local Time. Daytime, Incorrect.
6 – Dubai, UAE (GMT+4) at 1:30AM Local Time. Daytime, Incorrect.
7 – New York, USA (GMT-5) at 4:30PM Local Time. Daytime, Correct.
8 – Community Pool, Location Unknown, Time Unknown.
9 – Ice Floe, Location Unknown, Time Unknown.
10 – Chechnya, Russia (GMT+3) at 12:30AM Local Time. Daytime, Incorrect.

So out of ten locations in the chase scene, two were unidentifiable, four were presented at the correct time of day, and four were presented at the incorrect time of day, giving the film a 40% success rate, 40% failure rate, with the final 20% left up in the air until I can get my hands on a shooting script that would allow me to judge the filmmakers’ intent in those last two locations.

1 This comment may have made it seem like David was directly responsible for Ramirez’s (or hijo’s) death, but that’s not entirely clear. Observe:
In this shot, Ramirez (or hijo) is sitting next to Jamie Bell, terrified. A pile of bricks directly to his left make it impossible to open his car door. At the end of this shot, Jamie pushes his door open and climbs out, revealing that:
Ramirez (or hijo) has mysteriously disappeared. This could simply be interpreted as a continuity error, and that the intent was that Ramirez (or hijo) remained in the truck and was crushed by the tank, or possibly the intent was that Ramirez (or hijo) quickly crawled out the back window while Jamie was shoving the door open.

Of course, even in that eventuality, David and Jamie Bell might still be responsible for Ramirez’s (or hijo’s) death, since they did drop the man into the middle of a war zone where he didn’t speak the language, while suffering from the shock of having everything he knows about the rules of time, space, and physics torn asunder right in front of his eyes. Back to article!

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