Review: I am Number Four

THE SETUP: John Smith (not his real name, played by Alex Pettyfer) is Number Four, one of nine aliens with special abilities hiding out on Earth from the world-conquering Magadorians. They are being hunted, one-by-one, as a way of clearing any obstacles from taking over our world. All John wants to do is make out with Sarah (Dianna Agron) while he goes through puberty…I mean understanding his powers.

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THE THOUGHTS: I just saw two very different movies. One was filled with Dawson’s Creek teen angst and a steady stream of high school movie clichés while the other kicked some serious action ass with great special affects and intense choreography. Which part do you think I enjoyed? Directed by D.J. Caruso who did a fine job with Disturbia and Eagle Eye (OK, a so-so job), tries too hard to connect with the Twilight teens rather than focusing on what works for this movie. Though not breaking any new ground, the acting from Pettyfer and Agron is fine. Timothy Olyphant, playing the Obi-Wan/warrior protector role, doesn’t stray too far from his acting comfort zone but he still adds some much needed weight to the film. I am Number Four could have been so much better but instead stuck with the picked on nerd, jerk jock with a cop dad, popular girl wanting to be more than a cheerleader stereotypes.

I AM NUMBER FOUR Rating:
1 stars – it’s a renter. Lots of potential wasted on clichéd teen angst…movie of the week level. Rent it for the action.

Random Recommendations
Disturbia (2007) – The better of director D.J. Caruso’s films. This homage to Rear Window updates the Hitchcock story with Shae LaBeaof and David Morse playing injured peeping tom and creepy neighbour respectively. Of course the Jimmy Stewart original is better but this is a decent renter with a few thrills worth checking out.

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Go (1999) – You’ll barely recognize Timothy Olyphant as the drug dealer in this tale of 3 interlocking stories about the same drug deal gone bad (is there any other kind). Starring pre-Tom Cruise Katie Holmes and Sarah Polley and directed by Doug Liman (Swingers, Bourne Identity), it’s a mix of violence, humour and misunderstandings.

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 Review: I am Number Four
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