I Saw A Film Today… I Am Number Four

Michael Bay is not exactly one of my favorite directors (or producers for that matter). Don’t get me wrong, I find the man’s films very entertaining. Bad Boys, The Rock, Armageddon, The Island, the first Transformers.  All these are films that I’ve seen many times in my childhood.  But if there is one thing lacking in all this, it’s a good story line. All explosions plus a weak story line does not usually equal a good film. But hopefully Bay and director D. J. Caruso have changed that with I Am Number Four.

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John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is your typical teenagerish guy. He lives in a hut on a picturesque Florida beach, gets to hang out with his “bros” in the surf and sun all day, and looks like a dim-witted jock. Ok, maybe not your typical young person. But after his leg begins glowing blue one night at a bon fire, John shows just how different he is.

As it turns out, John is actually an alien. He comes from a planet called Lorien. He was sent with eight other of his kind to Earth after a race known as the Mogadorians invade his home planet. The Mogadorians are hunting down the Loriens by number. Since number 3 was just killed, they are looking for number 4, which is John. He is sent and protected by a Guardian known as Henri (Timothy Olyphant). Together they must leave sunny Florida and go to dreary Paradise, Ohio (smell the Twilight similarities yet?). Insert random chick blowing up John’s hut while walking away without flinching.

Once in Paradise, John decides to go to high school. Upon arrival there he is greeted by the 80’s stereotypical Football captain and all around bully, Mark. John then befriends the school science nerd Sam (Callan McAuliffie) and pretty girl Sara (Dianna Argon). Together they form a band of moody teenagers… and one alien who looks slightly in his twenties. Insert random clip of random girl again.

But has John brought doom upon the ironically named town of Paradise? Can John stop the Mogadorians from hurting Henri and his friends? Can he also stop Mark from being such a meanie?

In truth, I had high hopes for I Am Number Four when I saw the trailer. Looked like a good bit of fun. But with its borrowed story line and script that was so generic it could be sold at Wal-Mart under their Great Value line, I was about ready to walk out of the movie within fifteen minutes. There were even moments when I audibly laughed at the absurdity of this film.

Not only that, but there is so much thrown into this film for no apparent reason and is never fully explained. One example of this is a box John received from his father. It glows blue occasionally. Movie ends. Oh… wait, why exactly does it glow blue? What is inside of it? What is its function? Was it stolen off the Master of Disguise set?

The performances were also as bland as the film. There are rumors that Alex Pettyfur is on the short list to play Jason Bourne in an upcoming prequel. I already have reservations about the possible tarnishing of such a good action franchise and if Pettyfur is in fact chosen, my skepticism only grows stronger. The only performance that is even worth mentioning is Timothy Olyphant, who I believe to be one of the best working actors in the business at the moment. For proof check out the fantastic television series Justified.

This movie steals so much from other films yet comes out with nothing to give. The CGI battles and occasional “look out!” shouted is nothing new. In fact, there is nothing original about I Am Number Four.

Verdict: SKIP IT!

Thoughts or opinions about I Am Number Four? Leave them below.

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One Response to “I Saw A Film Today… I Am Number Four”

  1. Although we thought the film was fun, we realise it’s nothing special but we couldn’t help but feel the story draws on so many references from other popular teen sci-fi films and TV that it lacks anything that feels original. Our full take can be read on our blog

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