I Am Number Four

"My entire childhood has been an episode of X-Files."

If you've been hanging around this site for awhile, you know I'm not big with the snark. But this movie just yanked the snark right out of me.

I Am Number Four was so obviously intended to cash in on the Twilight franchise, but with sexy teenage aliens instead of sexy faux-teenage vampires. The movie is very young adult and very blond, and of course, the superpowered very important alien is in hiding and running for his life, but insists on attending high school. If they were going to try for anything resembling realism, they would be acting like Sarah Connor, using every skill and subterfuge possible to hide... well, okay, John Connor went to high school, too. But he was human, underage and didn't look 23, so he had an excuse.

The lead actor (Alex Pettyfer as the titular Number Four) was... well, I was going to say abysmal, but maybe he was just boring. Pretty much every one of the supporting actors was a better actor than he was, and that included the dog. (I liked the dog.) I especially liked Number Six. Actually, this movie should have been written around her (I Am Number Six) instead of him, except that girls don't tend to be the lead in movies about aliens.

So I spent most of the movie waiting for the Timothy Olyphant scenes. (He was basically doing Obi Wan. Enough said.) Jake Abel, the third Winchester brother from Supernatural, got to be inexplicably nasty; Kevin Durand (Keamy from Lost and Joshua from Dark Angel) got to do a lot of mugging and overacting while wearing scary alien makeup. Dianna Agron from Glee was completely wasted; they gave her a Veronica Mars-like obsession with photography, but that was pretty much it -- although they did sneak in the movie version of Glee slushies. The only character I really liked was the dog.

The writing consisted of cliched, rubber stamped lines that we've heard a thousand times before. And there was practically nothing resembling background on the aliens. Was I supposed to read the book or books before watching the movie? Why did they have numbers instead of names? Why were they being eliminated in numerical order? How could Number Four be stupid enough to stop and develop photos while running for his life? Why did the producers of this movie think that we'd care about Number Four without anything resembling good writing, good acting, and/or charm, like, say, Starman? And who thought of those embarrassing subcutaneous flashlights in his hands?

Well, it wasn't a complete loss. I did like the dog.

One out of four Twilight ripoffs,

Billie
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Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

10 comments:

Mark said...

I Am Number Six would have made me think of The Prisoner (original series), which had superb writing.

Billie Doux said...

Mark, I'm planning to review The Prisoner some day. And I mean the original, not the remake.

Paul Kelly said...

Spot on, Billie. A better title for the film would have been I Am Number Two... because that's what it was. Why would you give someone you barely know one of your lovely cameras? Too many unanswered questions. Too much senseless action. Just... too much...

(Wow... the captcha is "teotarmi". I feel like I just invoked a spell and killed some bad guys.)

Google Girl is not a number said...

Actually, all the Alien movies I can think of star women... (except the second AVP... but that's not really a movie)

Anyway, another case of a movie that should've ended with its previews.

Dimitri A.C. Ly said...

Dang it, Google Girl, you beat me to it!

Wasn't Reiko Aylesworth (Michelle in 24) the lead in AVP Requiem, not that I encourage anyone to try to remember that movie...

As for "I Am Number Four" (which I haven't seen), I believe the screenplay was written by folk from the Smallville staff, wasn't it? Dang.

1130am said...

I haven't seen the movie because I had heard such bad things about it--and I really won't see it now that I've read your review.

However, I loved the book and have already pre-ordered the next book called "The Power of Six." I don't know if it's being turned into a movie, but maybe with better writers it will be better than this one apparently was.

Valerie said...

I was confused about the mythology, several people have asked me what this movie was about and I have to answer "I don't know"

And Timothy Olyphant didn’t wear a cowboy hat and didn’t shoot anyone, I was disappointed

Harry Earle said...

Wow, Billie got snark! One and a half out of four Twilight rip-offs - oh god, now I'm imagining four Twilight rip-offs and it's incredibly depressing.

That said, I managed to sit through Jumper solely on the basis of its unreasonably handsome super-powered male leads so maybe I will watch this at some point... sorry if that lowers anyone's opinion of me!

Billie Doux said...

Harry, I sat through Jumper for exactly the same reason. So it doesn't lower my opinion of you. :)

daniel c w said...

Yes Dimitri, the movie was written by Smallville's "creators", Al Gough and Miles Miller.