Review: I AM NUMBER FOUR (Blu Ray)

Contributor; Seattle, Washington
Review: I AM NUMBER FOUR (Blu Ray)
The core problem with the sci-fi fantasy I Am Number Four can be pinpointed any of the (many) times director D.J. Caruso's camera catches sight of of teen alien John's (Alex Pettyfer) iPhone. Numerous times we see its screen as John responds to (or more often) ignores texts and calls, and the one thing I kept thinking while watching the movie was, "Why doesn't this kid change the default wallpaper on his phone?" More often than not a kid's cell phone wallpaper says something about them, providing little snapshots into what's interesting to them at least at that moment.

John, our teen alien, has no identifiable interests or really personality for that matter. Ultimately, John is simply a vessel into which screenwriters Miles Millar and Alfred Gough pour the plot involving bad, noseless, tattooed aliens attempting to kill the last of a race of telegenic super-powered aliens. There were nine of the good aliens--Loriens--on Earth, but the evil aliens--Mogadorians--have killed three so far. To keep John from being next in line, his guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant) keeps them both on the move across the country, all while trying to find out the location of the other Loriens.

Henri wants his young charge to keep his head down and avoid getting turned into a column of smoke by the Mogadorians. John would rather go to school and maybe get to know the pretty blonde, Sarah (Diane Aragorn) he meets at his new school in the town of Paradise, Ohio. He broods in her direction, she snaps photos and attempts to give off the impression of personality with vague conversations about photography. There's also a young UFO enthusiast named Sam (Callan McAuliffe) who sort of becomes John's friend, and who in a better film might have been the lead. Sam seems to know that the kind of movie they're all in requires more than smoldering looks and storming off in a huff.

I Am Number Four is less a movie and more an overt attempt to create a mythology--aliens with super powers, arch villains, epic love--without the benefit of populating that mythology with characters. Late in the movie, we get some admittedly neat actions scenes with functional to pretty decent CG that doesn't take you out of the movie. Also, Olyphant's Henri seemed to be a character with some potential. Unfortunately, I Am Number Four is set on getting down to the business of setting up the multi-picture arc and doesn't have time for either the Henri's or Sam's of this world.

Special Features

The Blu Ray disc contains several deleted scenes that reveal the major bummer that Karen Allen was excised from the movie. There's also a blooper reel and a featurette about actress Teresa Palmer called "Becoming Number 6." There's also a DVD copy of the movie and a code for a digital copy.

I Am Number Four arrives on DVD and Blu Ray on May 24.

I Am Number Four

  • D.J. Caruso
  • Alfred Gough (screenplay)
  • Miles Millar (screenplay)
  • Marti Noxon (screenplay)
  • Jobie Hughes (novel)
  • James Frey (novel)
  • Alex Pettyfer
  • Timothy Olyphant
  • Teresa Palmer
  • Dianna Agron
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D.J. CarusoAlfred GoughMiles MillarMarti NoxonJobie HughesJames FreyAlex PettyferTimothy OlyphantTeresa PalmerDianna AgronActionAdventureSci-Fi

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