I Am Number Four (2011)
Director: D.J. Caruso
Teresa Palmer/Number 6
An E.T. teenage broheem (Alex Pettyfer) hiding among us, falls in love with a local hottie (Dianna Agron), discovers his powers and has to rumble with a gang of Alien killers (same race that destroyed his planet) who are on earth to whack him and his remaining brothers/sisters out. He's Number 4 bitches, recognize!
I missed I AM NUMBER FOUR when it hit the screens on its opening weekend. I could've skipped it all together at this point and call it a life but it kept nagging at me. Yup, I wanted to see it as it reminded me of a TV Movie I used to love when younger called Starcrossed (1985), starring James Spader and Belinda Bauer. The latter was about an alien chick, hiding on earth. She's being chased by alien Bounty Hunters and eventually falls in love with a human. Them similarities is what got me in that NUMBER FOUR theater seat this weekend and now that I saw the flick; I can say that I am glad that I did.
Based on James Frey's and Jobie Hughes (both going under the pen name of Pittacus Lore) popular 2010 novel of the same name; I Am Number Four was granted, nothing new, but it stirred all of its familiar elements well and added enough hot sauce to them to make it worth the chow-down. Before I continue; I just want to address those who claim that this is a Twilight clone but with Aliens instead of Vampires. How can I say this gently... oh yeah! BULLSHIT! Just because a film has a good looking young cast and a love story; that doesn't mean its a freaking Twilight wannabee. The overdone sappiness/teen angst, the love triangle that makes no logical sense, the male leads being bitches, the tacky analogies to a chick getting her cherry popped, the “pathetically emotionally dependent” female lead and the overdose of shirtless dudes that the Twilight series sported was not found in I AM NUMBER FOUR. This was more Starman, meets Smallville (right down to our alien lead being on earth cause his home planet was destroyed, Krypton style) than anything else. I find it sad; that renowned reviewers (like Roger Ebert whose so called review I just read) would use the “its just a Twilight knock-off” card to dismiss a movie instead of admitting that they are just too old for it, that they didn't get it or/and didn't care to get it (BTW Mr. Ebert Number 4 and the evil aliens were two different races; Loriens and Mogadorians, not the same race as you stated in your review, just an FYI). But I digress... where the f*ck was I? Ah yes, what I thought of the movie.
I AM NUMBER FOUR gave me a familiar (which is not always a negative thing... at this point what isn't familiar? Its all been done!) yet gripping premise, slapped enough exposition my way early on to give me a base (keeping some explanations for the maybe sequel) and then worked its way up from there to finally go ape-shit via its last fireworks heavy block. For the first hour and 15 minutes or so, yup this one was a fairly typical teen drama with otherworldly undertones rocking it. You know the drill, new kid in town, falls for the outcast girl (who's hotter than hell on a scorcher of a day), school bully and his posse get on his case whilst our hero learns who he is and gets more comfy with his wam-bam powers. But you know what? Although cliched; I got into it! i was wooed by the earnest (not layered, I said earnest) characterization, the groovy chain of events, the occasional tight dialogue and the talented actors behind the roles. Alex Pettyfer had the looks, charisma and the range for the part and his genuine chemistry with the gorgeous Dianna Agron as Sarah worked wonders here and then some (as it should.. the two were dating when they made the film). So they kept me in the game, even when the game would cheat...more on that later. Same went for the great Timothy Olyphant as the gruff protector (who brought a much welcomed and cool as a corpse adult presence to the whole) and Teresa Palmer as the feisty Number 6. They both came in with a pocketful of A Game and delivered 100%, upping my enjoyment of the ride in the process. And big props to Canuck actor Kevin Durand (who was also in one of my favorite hockey flicks of all time; Mystery Alaska) as the evil alien leader; he relished in his psycho and loving it character and I had a blast watching him go wild with it.
Now, where the first two blocks of the flick were akin to Smallville with a dash of Starman, the last block injected itself with some healthy Steroids and took the X-Men highway; going buck nuts in the flamboyant fights, eye popping CG beasties, badass display of alien powers (I guess Nightcrawler has a sister) and gravity defying acrobatics, all coated in a visual style that cranked its shit up to "DAMN!" D.J. Caruso went to town with the last act! His use of slow motion and jaw dropping angles had me going and then some! You could feel Michael Bay's (who produced the film) stamp all over that final half hour; the bodies hit the floor hard and shit blew up REAL good! Awesome! Any negatives to spew? Oh yeah! I though the flick could have been shaved down by like 15 minutes and more action should have been tossed in the first hour, to keep things jumping. Although I was never “full on bored”, I did crave more alien shenanigans to happen already. But the worst thing about the film was how its narrative often cheated to get where it needed to go. Am talking random plot holes that had me thinking: “How did she get here?”, “When/how did he get kidnapped?”, “Why is everybody accepting alien existence so easily?”, “Where the hell is the army?” or “Why is this bad guy suddenly a good guy”? It always blows my mind that storytelling hick-ups of this kind happen in a movie this big... I don't get it and never will...
But other than that, I AM NUMBER FOUR was what it was and I dug it for it. The story, the mythology and the characters had me while the money was thankfully on the screen hence resulting in a swell time at the movies. If there's ever a sequel to it, I'll go check it out, not because I “have to” for the better of the site (like I do with that puke inducing Twilight franchise), but because I want to. You gonna take this number or what?
We get some light blood, some stabbings and dead bodies turning to dust. Not much to see in this department.
T & A
Teresa Palmer and Dianna Agron didn't need to be naked to make me say YUM! Both dames looked finer than hooker ass on a drunken Friday night. The ladies get model fit Alex Pettyfer shirtless. NOTE: No worries straight fellas, him being shirtless wasn't overdone like it was with Jake in that painful Twilight franchise.
The Twilight comparisons out there are bullshit! I said it! Reading some of the “established critics” I AM NUMBER FOUR reviews made me think; “Shit, if I ever get this jaded about movies, I'll just quit writing reviews, cause what's the point then?!” You want to hate on a movie, fine, but back that shit up with some meat and show that you've SEEN the flick, otherwise your venom has no bite. Now I'm not saying that I AM NUMBER FOUR was a masterpiece, but two hours of easy entertainment with a decent story, appealing leads, a harmless/cute love story and some “America f*ck yeah” crazy action at the end? Damn straight it was!
Sure the script (or the edit of the movie) could have used some tightening up and a good polish to get them plot holes and the random slap dash nature out of there; but on the whole I had a groovy time with this one and yup, if there's a sequel, I'm there! The mythology of the piece and the questions that are still up in the air have me hooked enough to care. If the follow up doesn't happen, I'll just buy the second book THE POWER OF SIX and read that shit... I wanna know what happens next! Ideal flick to bring your chick to or to watch with your dame at home. It's mix of romance and crazy Sci-Fi action makes it a ride that should appeal to both genders.
The second novel The Power of Six is set to be released on August 23, 2011 and will continue the story of I Am Number Four.
The flick was shot for about $60,000,000.
Actor Alex Pettyfer has five known tattoos and was recently dumped by his I AM NUMBER FOUR co star Dianna Agron.
Really dug that song Shelter by XX that was in the flick.