After much success with young-adult fare like the Twilight movies, Harry Potter films and even Smallville and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it’s a wonder that Hollywood can’t seem to launch anything even remotely as good. I Am Number Four falls into the not-so-good category. Like Diablo Cody before, trying to emulate Whedon-esque dialogue isn’t always the right route to take when dealing with a teen story-line. And it in no way guarantees that your character will sound smart, in fact if done improperly it guarantees they won’t.
Michael Bay as producer didn’t seem to have much effect, other than some glossy-ness to the picture. We all know how stale actors can come off in his films (Pearl Harbor especially comes to mind, even though we love it). This film won’t be launching any careers, and the best Alex Pettyfer, Teresa Palmer and the rest of the cast can hope for is a simple blip on the radar. Tim Olyphant-tastic is his normal one tone self trying desperately to break out of his Seth Bullock character from Deadwood.
Screenwriters Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville) fall short on their duties here. Fans of the book will no doubt enjoy the fact there is a movie at all. But these guys don’t even know how to treat them. At one point in the movie the evil aliens stop speaking gibberish only to tongue whip some fat guy for liking comic books before sending him to a violent end.
If anything this movie is much more deserving of the smaller screen. A time slot right after Smallville on CW? Too good. Following Mega Python vs. Gatoroid on Syfy? Maybe too harsh, but certainly prime for the lead-in.
Director: D.J. Caruso
Stars: Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Jake Abel, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer
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