Cinema Review – Jump

On new year’s eve, Greta (Nichola Burley), the daughter of a Derry crime boss, is rescued from suicide by Pearse (Martin McCann). The two quickly realise that the city holds little for them, and decide to leave together, but it seems that fate has other ideas for the pair…

Jump is the second film to emerge from Northern Ireland in recent weeks, and it is also the second film from the region to not dwell on the political and religious strife of the region. How refreshing. Also refreshing is the idea of dealing with suicide in an almost ethereal manner, even though it doesn’t always work.

Nichola Burley, as Greta, manages the Derry accent rather well – for a girl from leeds – and even though she is never really given a huge amount of time to develop her character, or much motivation for her suicidal tendencies, she makes Greta a relatable character. She also looks good in a pair of fairy wings… Just saying.

Martin McCann makes Pearse the nicest of the nice guys, and this is the character that the audience finds themselves rooting for, even if he does make some questionable choices throughout the film. Charlene McKenna provides the link between Greta and the real world and Valene Kane plays the stereotypical annoying but endearing friend. Richard Dormer, fresh from his performance as Terri Hooley in Good Vibrations, teams up with Ciaran McMenamin as a henchman with an axe to grind and, while the two are constantly at one another’s throats, they provide some comic relief from all the death and suicide.

Kieron J. Walsh and Steve Brookes’ script is intricate, but does not allow the supporting cast to delineate properly. Charlene McKenna and Richard Dormer fare the best, but even they struggle against the madcap pacing and antics throughout the film. The fact that the story is told non-chronologically is never truly explained, which leads to some confusing moments where the audience wonders ‘surely we have seen this scene before?’. That said, there is enough mystery and crossover to keep the audience’s interest.

Jump is the story of a mad night out that goes horribly wrong and terrifically right. We have all had those nights where everything changes, but it seems that so much changes so quickly that it is difficult to keep up at times. Burley and McCann shine in this story of love and loss, and it makes a fantastic change to see a film about Northern Ireland that ends on a hopeful message.

Rating: 3/5

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