Alex Pettyfer plays John, aka Number Four. Although he looks like your typical high schooler, he’s actually an alien from a planet called Lorien. After an evil race of creatures called the Mogadorians destroyed their home, he, along with eight others, travelled to Earth to escape. They are the only ones of their kind left, but the Mogadorians are on their way to take them out. The catch is they must be killed in order. Unfortunately, Number Three has just been killed and Number Four is next.
That’s as basic as a story can get. And it’s close to the stupidest. It’s a narrative of such little consequence that your pre-movie concession counter snack decision will hold more weight. I Am Number Four is an incredibly shallow film with a few snazzy effects and some flashy action scenes that may cause some to defend it, but those people would be looking past the plethora of problems that persist.
If there were to ever be one, definitive example of a film with a “hip” teenage build to it,I Am Number Four would be it. It tries so hard to be, like, you know, totally rad man, but it’s washed in clichés. Slow motion explosion walk-aways, the aforementioned water sporting, hot chicks on motorcycles and one random cliff diving scene beg the teen audience to latch onto it. Just in case that doesn’t work, however, it does everything it can to be angsty, even going so far as to include a soundtrack full of bad pop songs with lyrics about being “invisible.” Adding to that is the poorly developed and overly cheesy budding relationship between Number Four and Sarah (Dianna Agron), a photography obsessed girl who sees the beauty in everything, that would make the lovesick ninnies in Twilight gag.
This too-cool-for-school-yet-still-emotionally-distraught-over-everything tween attitude is, frankly, too much to bear, but I Am Number Four fails in more ways than just in its limited scope. It’s also one of the most shoddily produced movies I’ve seen in quite some time, featuring poor pacing and writing that makes spoof movies look cohesive. At times, there is so little feeling of an actual threat that random, unnecessary interjections of the Mogadorians shopping and humoring themselves by scaring little children seep their way in, seemingly to remind us that, yes, the movie will indeed be going somewhere at some point. But the fact that it takes so long to get there is what is so objectionable. Take, for example, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), Four’s warrior guardian, whose only job is to keep the kid safe at all costs. The possibilities for experimentation are endless, but the only major security measurement he takes is to ensure no pictures of Four end up online. These Mogadorians have mastered the ability to travel across vast expanses of space, but evidently rely solely on Google to get their information.
More problems persist in the sea of vapid idiocy that is I Am Number Four. My only fear is that I didn’t do a proper job of explaining just how awful it is, though that’s a feat with which I imagine many would struggle. Some movies are so bad they transcend a proper description. This is one them.
I Am Number Four receives 0.5/5
==Written by Josh Hylton ==
==From: Josh Hylton Movies (www.joshhylton.com)==
This is a really good movie. It did not make back the sixty million it took to make it, but it seems to be doing good in it’s first week of rental release. Hopefully this is one of those films that will do very well in the rental category. I hope so, because it’s a very nice story. In the beginning, it’s fairly slow developing which gives us time to learn the back story of where John came from and at the same time, gives us the opportunity to know him and what kind of person he is. It’s a love story, high school, with the usual gang of geeks and bullies, and very much like the Twilight series with aliens instead of mythical creatures. Then in the last half, it catches on and gets really action packed as the bad guys show up and a huge showdown is inevitable. This is Twilight like as well. It’s a fresh story though, even though it’s similar. The special effects and the creatures are spectacular, and the fight scenes are awesome.
I had a lot of technical difficulties with the DVD I received from NetFlix though. I’m not sure whether it was just that one disk, or if something else was wrong, but I could not play it with WinDVD on the laptop, and my two DVD players failed. Finally I tried an old DVD burner that I have had for years, and it played, although several times I got “bad media” errors, and a couple times the DVD froze and had to be restarted to make it work again. But it was certainly worth the effort, and I am happy I was able to see it and not have to return it as unwatchable. I hope other copies of the disk do not have similar problems, as the disk itself is brand new, and looks pristine.
I certainly hope this stunning science fiction film does well in rentals, as we know of 5 of the 9 people, but still have 4 to find out about, where they are and what they are up to. And we know they have ugly bad guys coming to look for them. The ending is perfectly setup for a sequel, but it may never get made if the film does not find its legs. It would be a shame to miss the rest of the stories, for sure.
I recommend this film for anyone who is a science fiction fan, as it is a great alien adventure.
==Written by Ed Goettman ==
==From: Ed's Review Dot Com (www.edsreview.com)==
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English (United States)
Spanish (Spain, Traditional Sort)
Spanish (Spain, Traditional Sort)