Jump (Breaking Glass Pictures, NR)

Jump filmThe script depends heavily on coincidences, but Walsh keeps things moving at a rapid pace, with the sense of forward momentum aided by a lively soundtrack.

 

 

It’s not every day you get the chance to see a movie shot in Northern Ireland, so that’s reason number one to give Jump a try. The second reason is that it’s based on a well-regarded stage play by Lisa McGee, a native of Derry. The third is because it’s a good film, a fast-moving black comedy distinguished by convincing performances from an excellent ensemble cast (mainly from Northern Ireland, and none of whom I have heard of before).

Jump is a Tarantino-esque tale that intertwines three stories about people involved in the criminal underground—whether by choice, family, or coincidence—presented out of chronological order and with a sharp sense of style by director Kieron J. Walsh, who also co-wrote the script with Steve Brookes.

The story takes place on a single night, New Year’s Eve. Greta (Nichola Burley) plans to celebrate the holiday by throwing herself off a very high bridge (the Foyle Bridge in Derry, the largest bridge in Ireland and a popular real-life location for suicides) when she’s interrupted by Pearse (Martin McCann), who’s been dangled off this very bridge as a warning against looking too hard for his missing brother. Meanwhile, Greta’s two best friends (Charlene McKenna and Valene Kane) are headed off for a costume party, one dressed as Mary Poppins (although in truth she looks like some kind of perverse hooker) and the other as a very naughty schoolgirl.

The common denominator in these stories is Frank Feeney (Lalor Roddy), a crime boss and truly hard man with a penchant for springing nasty surprises on people. He’s Greta’s dad, and apparently she’s just had enough of life with him that she feels that the only way she can find peace is to end her life. Frank also killed Pearse’s brother; in the present time, he has been robbed and sends two of his foot soldiers (Ciarán McMenamin and Packy Lee) to get it back. The goons end up at the bar where Greta’s friends are partying, and the three strands of plot become more entangled as the evening proceeds.

New Year’s Eve comes with a built-in countdown clock, which lends a sense of forward motion to the story of Jump. It’s also a night for transformation and new beginnings, and, of course, a great night for partying. The script depends heavily on coincidences, but Walsh keeps things moving at a rapid pace, with the sense of forward momentum aided by a lively soundtrack (Gary Welch is credited as the music supervisor) and fast-paced editing by Emer Reynolds. Sharp location shooting by David Rom in Belfast and Derry is also a plus. My main complaint is that the soundtrack sometimes overpowers the dialogue, adding an extra degree of difficulty to deciphering the characters’ accents.

Jump won the “Bridging the Borders” Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and was nominated for three awards (best script, actor, and supporting actress) from the Irish Film and Television Academy. Extras on the DVD include a commentary track by the producer and director, interviews with the cast and crew, storyboards, a photo gallery, and the trailer. | Sarah Boslaugh

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply