I Am Number Four DVD Review
|REVIEWS - BLU-RAY REVIEWS|
Number Four could be Edward Cullen's derivative younger brother ....
I Am Number Four is a sci-fi thriller that keeps you gripped (albeit a bit confused) throughout. Like Twilight, it involves young beautiful people who fall in love regardless of their species, with predictable results. The main protagonist is the newly-dubbed 'next Robert Pattinson' aka Alex Pettyfer. He portrays an alien named John Smith (exciting, we know!) or, as he is known in Lorien alien language, Number 4, sent to Earth as a child to escape an invading race named the Mogadorians. John Smith flees the Mogadorians as they have learned about the Lorien's new foundations on Earth. The strangely-worded title is actually quite simple, as ‘The Mogs’ must kill all nine alien children in a particular order with John being number four. Smith isn’t on his own though, as his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant), also from Lorien, is watching over him from the beginning.
The start of the film is quite misleading: it seems like something out of a horror movie, with aliens being hunted down in brutal fashion. This brutality is short-lived, and we are welcomed in to the world of American high school, and you will not be shocked in how it is portrayed. Yall but average-looking bullies use the wolf-pack mentality to pick on the geeky-but-nice kid; then run away like cowards the second the new guy (who is always strikingly good-looking) shows a sign of resistance.
As if we haven’t had enough American high school clichés, there's also John's love interest - Dianna Agron plays the extremely attractive and quirky Sarah Hart who has a strong passion for the arts (this time it's photography). There’s not really too much detail to Sarah's background - just watch a couple episodes of Glee and look for the popular blonde cheerleader; the standard backstory works for either character.
Smith seems to have his work cut out, as he is being chased by aliens who want to destroy him in order to take over the Earth - however, he wouldn’t be a hero without falling in love, and getting in to everyday high school squabbles whilst avoiding death. Unsurprisingly, Mark, the school bully is Hart's ex-boyfriend. When feelings develop between Smith and Sarah, Mark intervenes (and adds to Number 4's problems) by targeting him and trying to beat him up - good luck to the bully, as Number 4 has amazing powers that human males cannot match; and good-looking girls cannot resist.
The final main character is Sam, the aforementioned small geeky kid. Sam is a surprisingly big part of the movie as he and his Dad have a fascination with attempting to find these aliens that roam the Earth. Sam and John have an enjoyable and unlikely friendship - and in a movie filled with clichés, it is nice to see a geeky male befriend the heroic heartthrob.
The Mogadorians are genuinely quite scary and relentless; as well as being extremely ugly. However, their main problem as bad guys is that they are underdeveloped. All their reasons for killing the Loriens in a particular order to take over Earth is never really revealed; the audience doesn't get any background information about the tattooed Voldermort-lookalikes.
The main downfall for the movie is the constant parallels with the Twilight franchise; and as Twilight came first, I Am Number Four will always be in second place. Just like Edward Cullen, Number 4 is good-looking, mysterious and constantly on the move to protect his secret identity; then becomes attached to a home belonging to a certain girl...regardless of how dangerous it gets. Both films have that moment where they reveal abnormal strength in front of the girl they are undisputedly in love with; Cullen saving Bella from the truck and Smith throwing the American Football at the bullies in front of Hart. The Volturi and the Mogadorians are similar in their actions toward the protagonists, who just want to live a normal life, and there is even a completely parallel moment in between the two films, where Number 4 shows the viewer all his strongest moves in a forest.
One of the biggest positives of the film is the acting. Agron, as in Glee, plays the American high school beauty with conviction and confidence; and Pettyfer definitely uses his first lead role to establish himself as one of the most in-demand young actors in Hollywood. All of the Mogadorians put on good performances and so do the supporting characters. Also, the finale is shot extremely well, and has some great action scenes. That being said, it would have been nice to see more of these throughout the movie, rather than just the end. We also get introduced to Number 6 who is another (unsurprisingly) very good-looking female who helps Number 4 against ‘The Mogs’, and in doing this sets the movie up for a planned sequel. Disturbia’s D.J. Caruso also deserves credit for successfully directing the film to a high standard.
It’s not that I Am Number Four is a bad film, it just seems like it has been done before. Had it been made before the Twilight series, it may have had a different reception, but unfortunately it could not topple the werewolf-versus-vampire franchise. I Am Number Four openly aims itself at a young audience and most young people who watch it won’t be disappointed - it’s got action, good-looking characters, and interesting (and sometimes relatable) story lines. However, in holding back the foundations of the story, and the motivations of the bad guys, it throws the audience into the deep end without ever really explaining itself.
In the extras, you get deleted scenes - however the most unusual (and quite refreshing) part of the extras is the blooper section. Most intense movies seem to dodge the blooper extra, perhaps because they feel it takes away the seriousness of the story. I Am Number Four uses it and it is an enjoyable watch. Extras also include an in-depth look at Teresa Palmer's Number 6 character. Number 6 was introduced into the movie a lot later than the other protagonists, and with it a sequel on the way, she will be a prominent character from the beginning. We see the effort and training she went through to become this character, and hardcore fans will enjoy this section.
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