I Am Number Four
February 19, 2011
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the time of year when the quality of movies goes down drastically and movies that would otherwise not get a chance attempt to crush weak competition. That’s what happened with Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Wild Hogs and Ghost Rider. But where those films found an audience and overcame poor reviews, this film seems to destined to go nowhere (box office yesterday predicts a shallow number this weekend).
I Am Number Four stars Alex Pettyfer, a pretty boy with a strange secret. He is actually an alien sent to survive on Earth after a tragedy on his home planet. But his kind are being hunted by a malevolent race, forcing him and his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) to live a nomadic off the grid, a difficulty in today’s plugged-in culture. When the two arrive in Paradise, Ohio, they know it’s only a matter of time before they are found. And so the movie goes.
The film borrows way too much from established franchises, from the tone and feel to the actual backstories. One reviewer (obviously more widely read than I) referenced its similarities to the Twilight films, an audience this film seems to aim for. And the boy’s backstory…Superman anyone?
That aside, this film is a bland and forgettable. The characters are more general caricatures than actual characters. The climax is loud and rushed, leaving the action blurred by all the effects and fancy camerawork (being produced by Michael Bay, that makes a bit of sense). Director D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia) seems to be looking for an easy win with this one. But ultimately, the film fails to establish anything worth revisiting, since a sequel is hinted at the whole film. Strictly for fans of fantasy films with little or no depth. 2 out of 5 stars.