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Jump Review


An ambitious, multi stranded tale of existential angst and organised crime set in Northen Ireland during New Years Eve, Jumps tells the story of Greta (Nichola Burley), the daughter of a Derry gangster (Lalor Roddy), rescued from committing suicide by Pearce (Martin McCann), fresh from being roughed up by her father's thugs for looking into his brother's disappearance. Finding solace in each other, they set in motion a series of events that impact not only their lives, but the lives of Greta's friends Marie (Charlene McKenna) and Dara (Valene Kane), and traumatised thug Johnny (Richard Dormer).

Working from the stage play by Lisa McGee, director Kieron J. Walsh (When Brendan Met Trudy) juggles the multiple story lines with ease, throwing in some chronological slight of hand for good measure. It moves at a great pace, grabbing the audiences interest from the opening frame, and switching between the three stories effortlessly. As events unfold, each one intersects the other in interesting, if contrived, ways. Walsh plays with the timeline, presenting events out of order, and offering scenes played from a different point of view. It is reminiscent of Snatch or Pulp Fiction at times, and offers new insight into the unfolding events and characters. There is a surreal quality, from Johnny's visions of ghosts to Greta spending the entire movie with angel wings jutting from her back,  that breaks through from time to time, but it never feels at odds with the realistic tone the movie set from the start. Despite the heavy subject matter, there is a healthy streak of humour, and proceedings never get too dark. This is one of the movies problems. The whole suicide angle never rings true, feeling more like a reason to get Greta and Pearce together, and everything is tied up a little too neatly. I'm not looking for doom and gloom (we get enough of that in Irish cinema), but there was no real sense of danger. Thankfully, it never took away from my overall enjoyment.

Despite being the most important element, Greta and Pearce have no real chemistry. They fare better apart, but together they seem dull, their conversations more so. Kane and McKenna work much better together, watching their friendship slowly break down as a night deteriorates into tragedy is mesmerising. Dormer steals the show as Johnny, playing a broken man haunted by his past perfectly, and throws in some cheeky humour and charm when called to. The resolution to his story is the most satisfying, if somewhat predictable.

Despite it's flaws, this is a great example of what Irish cinema has to offer. While it could have done withe some tightening up in places, this still leads to a very enjoyable night at the cinema.

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The Movie Bit: Jump Review
Jump Review
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