We have reached an age in cinema
where Hollywood spews sequels to films
like a frat dude puking up Freebirds on a
Saturday (“Gotta stay cut, bro!”) — look
at the “Saw,”
“ F o c k e r s ”
and “Big
M o m m a ’ s
But we’re
not here to
discuss these
h o r r i b l e
sequels. No, we are here to talk about “I
Am Number Four,” and the more-thanlikely
sequel that is soon to come from
it. [Ed. note: “I Am Number Five”?]
Did you call it? Well, you probably could
have. Director D.J. Caruso’s teen sci-fi
flick sets up what could be the first in a
long line of “Number Four” films.
“I Am Number Four” stars Alex
Pettyfer as John Smith (a.k.a. Number
Four), an alien from the planet Lorien, who
was sent to Earth with eight other infants
to escape death by a foreign alien race on
their home planet. John, now a teenager
in high school under the protection of his
Guardian (Tymothy Olyphant), struggles
to deal with his alien powers while
the slayers of his planet hunt him and
the other “Numbers” down. To make a
long, formulaic story short: John (this
is a shocker) falls in love with a human
girl Sarah
( D i a n n a
A g r o n ) ,
fights off
the alien
race trying
to kill him
and unites
with his
brethren to find the rest of the survivors.
It sounds like an amazing story,
and with over-the-top explosions and
special effects, how could this movie
not be great? Now I’m not saying it’s not
the freshest, most original alien-savingthe-
world plotline I’ve ever heard; it
probably is. But I am going to go out
on a limb and say “Superman” has
been there before. I think “Twilight,”
“Transformers” and “The Covenant”
actually have too. “Transformers” and “The Covenant”
actually have too.
Get the picture? “I Am Number Four”
is another teen alien/vampire/hero movie
we don’t need or want to see. While it
adds to the pantheon of similar films,
it doesn’t add anything beyond its presence.
The acting suits the film’s mediocre
premise — nothing to rave about for sure.
Alex Pettyfer fills the role of attractive
young alien, but any pretty boy could
have filled his shoes just fine.
The dialogue between the actors is,
again, trite and stale. It seems like the
writers just needed to get the audience
from explosion to explosion without any
thought whatsoever. Sure, the ride is
simple enough to handle; I could have
fallen asleep and still been able to follow.
If I compared this movie to an actual
ride, I would say it resembles Dumbo
from Disneyland — looks like it’s going
to be great fun, but all you end up doing
is going up, down and around again.
Where are the sharp turns and big drops,
damn it?!
I’m fine with “I Am Number Four”
not being a great movie, I’m fine with
the story being overly familiar and dull
and I don’t even care about the somewhat
entertaining action scenes; I’ve seen it all
before. What bothers me is the ending
sets up a sequel. I would have been fine
with John Smith defeating his otherworldly
enemies and getting his gal, but
no, they decided to keep it going. Now
he’s on a search for the other “Numbers”
and preparing for yet another wave of
alien bad guys in what I can only imagine
will be an even more epic battle, as
technology advances. That sounds like a
smashing good time, but I think I’ll pass
if “I Am Number Four2” (“I Am Number
16”?) comes out anytime soon.