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I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four

Genders: Sci-Fi, Romance, Thriller, Drama

Director: D.J. Caruso

Writer: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

Actors: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer

Year: 2011
Run time: 1h 49min
IMDB score: 6
Updated: 2 years ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: I Am Number Four

Genders: Sci-Fi, Romance, Thriller, Drama

Imdb Score: 6

Runtime: 1h 49min

Released: 18 Feb 2011

Director: D.J. Caruso

Writer: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar

Actors: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer

Box Office: $55.1M

Company: DreamWorks Studios

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

I Am Number Four Available Subtitles

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Trailer


Review

Exactly what I expected

7/10 This movie isn't the best action film of the year. This movie isn't another tongue-in-cheek teen movie. Most importantly, this movie isn't a "wannabe" of the Twilight franchise. This movie is entertainment for all viewers that delivers a good story, action, and desire to want more at the end. I was lucky enough to work as an extra in this movie for about 2 weeks and was able to see how this film came together, piece by piece. The visual effects truly make the film enjoyable. Seeing it behind-the-scenes, I couldn't imagine what it would look like. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised.

The acting was believable and consistent (unlike previous reviews who claim the actors lost steam halfway thru the film). Timothy Olyphant is perhaps the best character in the film, Pettyfer following right after. The best part about this film: the love story within the plot WAS NOT painful/annoying to watch (such as Twilight).

This movie is definitely worth seeing in theaters, as the action scenes truly make the experience. I Am Number Four is a great start to what could be a fantastic franchise.

4 years ago

Not so much a disappointment as it is deeply unsatisfying

4/10 In a perfect world, the convoluted mess called I Am Number Four could have been great. It had all the trappings for success: based off a semi-popular novel for teens, a fairly accomplished director in D.J. Caruso, the producing "talent" of Michael Bay, two hot young stars in Alex Pettyfer and Glee's own Dianna Agron, and an enigmatic, yet intriguing trailer campaign. So why is it that the final product is one of the most deeply unsatisfying theatrical experiences I have had in some time?

Opening with the death of "Number Three", we jump into the life of John (Pettyfer), an alien being protected on Earth from a group called the Mogadorians. As it turns out, the Mogadorians wiped out the population of John's planet years before, except for nine children with extraordinary powers. For some reason, they have to be killed in order, and with three down, John is next in line for extermination. As he goes on the run with his protector Henri (Timothy Olyphant), they settle into the small town of Paradise, Ohio. Soon after, John starts gaining and learning more about his powers. But with a new love (Agron) and his lust to just be normal thrown into the mix, John may be in more trouble than he can imagine.

I have never read the source material for I Am Number Four, but I would hazard a guess that it did a half decent job of explaining what is going on, and did not just strive to set future sequels in motion. The film on the other hand, suffers because the sequel seems to be the only thing in mind outside of special effects. We are thrown right into John's life, and we only get little nuggets of reason for what is going on at any given time. We never get full explanations, and are never even offered the ability to piece it together by ourselves. The film seems merely content giving us hints, offering little enigmatic moments to get us thinking. But instead of doing anything with these scenes, it merely continues trucking along to its eventual ending which promises a continuation and the hope for some further reasoning for what is happening. But if the filmmakers do not care about informing the audience now, why will we care later?

But this would not be such a slap in the face if we had not already seen so many films in the past half-decade doing the exact same thing, attempting to replicate the success of the Harry Potter, Twilight and The Lord of the Rings franchises. The Golden Compass, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (which this film oddly resembles) are all examples of studios making films out of young adult books, specifically to capitalize on the potential for sequels and lengthy franchise possibilities. They all failed in varying degrees, because they all suffer from the same thing I Am Number Four suffers from – not enough plot, too much dependence on a sequel. Had all of these films even attempted to be able to stand on their own, perhaps they would have gotten the sequel they seemed to think they deserved. I know Four is part of a proposed book franchise, as opposed to an already established book franchise, but it merely skipped the waiting in the middle for the eventual film.

Should these plot and sequel problems not already be enough, Four suffers from copying Twilight a little too close (even including the notable musical cues from current alt-rockers). Sure, there are no vampires, but the romance between John and Agron's Sarah feels a little too forced for comfort. Right in the middle of being hunted down to be systematically wiped out, we are supposed to believe that someone who has spent their life running, would simply fall in love out of the blue, and not feel any consequences? We are supposed to believe he does not know better? Sure he's a teenager and we all did stupid things when we were that young, but why does the focus of the film seem to hinge on the chemistry and romance between these two star-crossed lovers? I was intrigued from the early moments in the film where it started to set the plot into motion, and the need for John and Henri to keep running to avoid death. But then it suddenly shifts from a science fiction tale to a romantic love story, and totally loses anything it has going for it. A last minute save in the final act of the film where it shifts back into the realm of sci-fi is not nearly enough to make up for well over an hour of melodrama and teen angst. It is awkward, silly, and practically plagiarizes Twilight.

I will say I was interested and intrigued when the film was attempting to do something with the plot and overarching story, but these moments are never given the chance to fully develop. The film criminally underuses Olyphant, the only actor who actually acts in the entire film, and makes him into an almost useless background character. We only get glimpses of Teresa Palmer's character throughout the film (the trailer already gives away any mystery of who she might be), and when she finally shows up to do something, she merely speaks in overtly sexual allusions. Pettyfer and Agron both seem to suffer from not knowing what emphasis to put on their character and when, and relative newcomer Callan McAuliffe is stuck in the cliche-ridden role as the know-it-all geek of a best friend.

When it attempts to work, I Am Number Four is quite interesting. I would have loved more story, and a whole lot less romance. Even what does work (including the decent special effects) seems to suffer as a result of all the melodramatic romance.

4/10.

(This review also appeared on http://www.geekspeakmagazine.com).

4 years ago

Oh So Familiar

7/10 OK the effects were great, the action was impressive....I mean visually, the movie was pretty good.

And I'll even say the acting was done well. The characters were charming, the pace was slow at times, but not dead boring slow.

My only problem was, how many times are we going to see the exact same story. I mean this was your typical teen drama....new kid..shady past... weird and wants to stay to himself, but there's always some cute chick who he risks everything for.

There's always bullies who hate that he's got the attention of the cute chick, so they always end up having a conflict. I mean 90% of this movie was your typical high school drama teen movie. And the "discovering" of his powers was like the alien version of spiderman.

I mean it's the same ole same ole....you explore and try to harness your new powers beating up bullies and jumping around where no one can see you until a super strong villain pops up you have to fight in the climax.

I mean as far as an overall success the positive things I mentioned originally (great effects, charming characters, impressive action) can for the most part salvage the movie. But if you're a fan of the genre, don't expect anything new. 3 1/2 outta 5 stars...

4 years ago

I am another Cliché

6/10 This is not a bad film. It's just not that great. The story feels a bit weak and there are so many plot holes it takes away part of the enjoyment. I also found myself un interested in the characters, apart from the dog, but who doesn't love a cute dog? It just seemed to be cliche after cliche after cliche. I have to remind myself I didn't go to watch shawshank redemption 2 or a William Shakespeare film adaptation. Instead I watched 90 odd minutes of blah. Good special effects and action sequences plus the added bonus of eye candy were just enough to save it. Just.

If you go to see "I am number four" I suggest you leave your brain at home then sit back and enjoy the pretty lights and moving pictures. Don't expect much and you might actually enjoy it.

4 years ago

Twilight with balls

6/10 Do you know that old movie rule that you subconsciously decide whether you're going to enjoy a film or not within the first ten minutes? Well, it wasn't true this time, because after the opening sequence, I was pretty sure I was going to hate "I Am Number Four". Thankfully, I was in for a pleasant surprise.

It all starts with bad CGI-monsters and some guys in Star Trek make-up chasing people around in the jungle. We then cut to some jocks doing tricks on jet skis and some bland blonde girls admiring them - and I thought this is going to be terrible. Then the story picks up and the movie gets better from there.

The story involves a couple of characters and mysteries, but is never too complicated. After the initial jet ski scene, the main character actually turns out to be played quite charmingly by Alex Pettyfer. He's supported by his mentor/protector (solid as always: Timothy Olyphant). Glee's Dianna Agron plays Number Four's love interest. She comes across very natural, so that the love story that unfolds is actually engaging instead of vomit-inducing like that of that other movie with the whining Vampires and the shirtless Werewolves.

Of course, "I Am Number Four" is by no means a great movie. The CGI sucks in places and the make-up of the bad guys is just awful. Characters are stereotypical, things fall into place way too conveniently and one has the feeling that a good junk of the original novel has just been crammed together to (barely) fit into the running time of a popcorn movie.

However, I think we can all agree that it would be silly to actually expect a masterpiece, considering the movie's premise. For what it is, "I Am Number Four" is an entertaining little fantasy flick for teenagers and undemanding twenty-somethings. Add to that the fact that this movie is neither a sequel nor a remake, that it's not based on a comic book, a TV series, a computer game or toys, and it's enough to lift "I Am Number Four" heads and shoulders above its genre competitors.

4 years ago