POSTED ON FEBRUARY 23, 2011:
The only thing I Am Number Four grabs is your cash
Had I known that Michael Bay was involved in the production of I Am Number Four, I might have chosen to see the third installment of the Martin Lawrence Big Momma comedy vehicle, such is my distaste for anything connected to Bay. But I'm jumping ahead of myself, I'll get to him later. I Am Number Four is a formulaic movie that feels out of place in February. Combining a story that involves teens, aliens, romance and action, I Am Number Four seems like one of the myriad of summer films that come and go without a trace. Regardless of whether it was released on the tail end of winter or in the worst days of August, I Am Number Four is unmemorable at best and hopefully won't spawn the sequel that it desperately sets up when it is over.
English actor Alex Pettyfer plays John Smith, an alien from the distant planet Lorien, who has escaped to earth with eight other teenagers and their warrior protectors. The teens are being hunted down one by one by some nasty, sharp-teethed Mogadorians who need to kill the teens in mathematical order before they can then start to kill off the innocent and weak humans that populate earth. In other words, these teenage aliens are saving the human race by doing battle with the foul Mogadorian villains. None of the teens know where the other Loriens are, but they get a swirling scar on their flesh when one is killed.
When "number three" is taken out by Mogadorians it's John's turn to be hunted down. John and his bodyguard Henri (Timothy Olyphant) are discovered to be "out of the ordinary" in Florida (something to do with bright light being shot out of John's leg caught on videotape at a beach party), they go on a mad-dash to a completely different location: Paradise, Ohio. Under orders from Henri to become invisible in the rural, small town setting, John doesn't really listen. In a matter of days, John finds a new best friend, a love interest named Sarah (Dianna Agron) to woo, a cute beagle for company and enemies when he spars with a clichéd clique of high-school bullies. So much for staying hidden.
On the surface, there aren't many differences between a human teen and one from Lorien. Blessed with the genes of the best human specimen, John acts quiet, surly and moody, behaving just like a normal teenager might. John's also quickly discovering his Lorien "legacies" that give him superpowers unique to each of his fellow escapees. For John, it gives him the ability to leap huge distances and emit light and energy from his hands that allow him to control and move large objects at will. His hands are useful too when he's in a dark room or in the woods at night: built-in flashlights!
Four Play. Directed by D.J. Caruso with not a thread of flair or spark, I Am Number Four quickly unfolds with predictable jumps in the story that wonít surprise anyone who hasnít read the book. The film is based on a popular young adult novel from Pittacus Lore and is too orientated for the audience of the book.
I Am Number Four is based on a popular young adult novel from Pittacus Lore (the shared pen name of James Frey and Jobie Hughes) and is too orientated for the audience of the book. That means teenagers. Directed by D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia) with not a thread of flair or spark, the film quickly unfolds with predictable jumps in the story that won't surprise anyone who hasn't read the book. Maybe the book has more depth of character, but the film sure doesn't. John may look like a hunky male teenager, but he's emotionally cold (maybe that's how people are from the planet Lorien) and Caruso injects musical fluff whenever he can to express the hidden feelings of the I Am Number Four's teenage protagonists.
I Am Number Four is just the latest overblown, forgettable, by-the-numbers movie marketed toward the young people of America or gullible older people who should know better. This is a film that is safe, calculated, loaded up with plenty of crappy over-CGI'd action scenes that involve alien weaponry (laser guns!), a saccharine love story and its worst crime of all: no soul. It's empty filmmaking in every way and targeted at moviegoers who can't resist such bland mediocrity. To quote Morrissey in 1987, "Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before." You have, and it's not good. Yet, people line up and fork over their money for drivel they won't remember in a couple of months.
When the closing credits rolled by it suddenly made sense why I Am Number Four was no good: it was produced by Michael Bay. It's not often I'll address a film's producer, but when it's someone like Bay, I can't keep quiet. Responsible for a recent spate of horror films remakes for quick and easy cash grabs, I defy anyone to name one good movie in which he has ever been involved. Bay celebrates the worst in moviemaking -- heartless stories that rely on technology, effects and cheap digital tricks. Bay's motto and testosterone fueled cinematic vision? "Let's blow shit up." His lust for pyrotechnics is so strong, if he wasn't making headache-inducing movies, he might be wasting away in a prison cell for arson. Actually, that might have been better for the film industry and the world in general. In the case of Michael Bay, arson is a lesser evil to having to watch his movies.
Unfortunately for I Am Number Four, producer and all-around talentless hack Michael Bay's fingerprints are all over it. When Bay is involved in a film, it really has no hope of being a success. He's doomed dozens of movies in his past and he'll ruin plenty more in the future. Don't believe me? Go pay for the torturous experience of watching Transformers: Dark of the Moon in July and then tell me I am a liar. I Am Number Four is the latest hollow vessel of Bay's infertile imagination and I'm praying that people don't waste their money as a sequel seems like another complete waste of the precious life it will sap from people who watch it.
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A35920