I Am Number Four (2011)
PG-13, 109 Minutes, Action/Thriller/Sci-Fi
Director: D.J. Caruso
Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant and Dianna Agron
Viewed on 02.26.2011
* * *
I've read several reviews of this movie over the last few weeks, and most critics didn't seem to care for it, in general, complaining that there were too many plot holes / things that didn't make sense. So when Bob & I went to see it on Saturday, I was prepared to not have a very good time. Surprisingly, it wasn't as bad as many made it out to be. In fact, I quite liked it - and not just because Alex Pettyfer is so pretty.
First of all, one should keep in mind that this movie is based on (adapted from?) a Young Adult novel of the same name. So perhaps the fact that I went into the theater knowing that it was aimed at young adults lowered my expectations slightly. Whatever. I haven't read the book yet, although I intend to at some point. The things that other people thought were plot holes may have just been the inevitable holes that occur when books are adapted into movies - there's simply too much stuff, and some of it gets left out. Sometimes that means that explanations aren't fully realized, or that scenes that might have shed light on a characters' motivations might have been cut. Again, whatever. The movie was fun, enjoyable, and stuff got blown up. Deep and philosophical it wasn't, but you knew that from the previews, didn't you?
Anyway, the movie begins with the shadowy stalking and death of a young man in the jungle by creatures unknown - and half a world away, John Smith, who is minding his own business partying with friends on a beach in Florida, is forced to witness the death as a glowing symbol is burned into his leg, and a sinister voice whispers that he will be next. He and his guardian immediately flee, destroying all evidence of their existence, and travel north hoping to find someplace safe where the sinister aliens won't be able to find them. John insists on immediately going to the local high school against his guardians wishes (the one point that didn't ring true to me - what teenager insists on going to school when told he doesn't have to?) and makes some new friends and some new enemies. Soon the super-sniffing Mog aliens arrive and all hell breaks loose, but not before we find out that John himself is from another planet, one of 9 children hidden on earth when the Mogs invaded their homeworld and somehow imbued with special powers that will allow them to defend themselves against the Mogs that are hunting them. There's lots more detail and filler, but I've probably already included more spoilers than I should have, although hopefully not anything more than the trailers show.
Although this wasn't the best Sci-Fi/Action/Thriller movie ever made, it's fun, and cute, and enjoyable. I probably won't rush out to buy the DVD, but then again I rarely do. I was a little concerned that Diana Agron wouldn't be able to act out real emotion or angst, (her character on Glee always seems a little flat to me), but she did all right as the loner teen Sarah. The special effects were pretty good, and any movie that destroys a high school can't be all that bad - Right?
Overall I give it 3 stars. (Did I mention that Alex Pettyfer is pretty?)
Next, I'm very much looking forward to "Beastly," a modern re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale (also starring the very pretty Alex Pettyfer). And I'm simply dying to see Red Riding Hodd, which I think will be visually stunning, if nothing else...