Film Review: Jump (MA15+) (North Ireland, 2012)


Jump throws its hat into the ring alongside other intricately woven crime comedies such as Rock n Rolla and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, working with situational humour and solid investment in story set-up, to unravel a finale that falls into place almost seamlessly.

Based on a stage play of the same title by Lisa McGee, Jump literally leaps between the past and present events constituting one New Year’s Eve in the life of four young adults, situated in the Northern Irish town of Derry. Central character Greta Feeny (played by Nichola Burley) who voices the film’s narrative, is severely depressed and suicidal, triggered by the passing of her mother a mere week ago. Seemingly numb, she encounters Pearse Kelly (played by Martin McCann) on the bridge where she intends to take her life and forms an instant bond with him. They both share intent to exact revenge on Greta’s crime boss father Frank Feeny whom is also responsible for the disappearance of Pearce’s brother Eddie. Their chance meeting sets off a series of events which drag Greta’s friends Marie and Dara into the mix, as well as one of Frank’s part time lackeys Johnny, leading to an unexpected bittersweet ending.

Although the movie is slow paced to start, patience is rewarded towards the third quarter of the film when things start to click and make sense. The plot follows the genre’s usual formula of introducing characters and slowly unveiling the links between them, whilst livening up dreary seriousness with spatterings of candidly executed humour. There’s an authenticity to the cast’s acting that’s very natural, and the cheeky, easy chemistry between Burley and McCann makes their budding relationship feel even more tragically short lived. The context of the film’s title is cleverly referenced in different forms along the way, adding a bit more material for the audience to ponder over.

Cinematography and dialogue is serenely poetic in places, especially during Burley’s scenes, encapsulating her character’s state of mind. This is counteracted by the action packed grittiness of the world around her and it feels like the ending is pointing to the silver lining within every sacrifice made. Alternate story lines involving Marie and Dara’s night out on the town and Johnny’s consuming guilt are clever diversions from the main story and whilst they don’t seem to pull enough focus to be appreciated fully, do well to conceal twists in the plot.

All in all Jump executes the staples of its genre well and it’s refreshing to see and hear an Irish cast play out this kind of tale. Director Kieron Walsh has translated the original play into a thoughtful, clever film with enough character relatability to keep an audience emotionally invested to the end.


Duration: 81 mins

Official trailer for Jump below:


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