Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Am Number Four (2011)

I Am Number Four(2011) Dir. by D.J. Caruso

Extraordinary teen John Smith (Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny. Written by Walt Disney Pictures

I have always been a sucker for Caruso's films. You can make fun of me all you like, but his films are almost always extremely enjoyable, and hold high rewatch value in my mind. With a list like The Salton Sea, Taking Lives, Disturbia, Two for the Money, and Eagle Eye; can you really argue? Unfortunately I have not had the time to pick up I Am Number Four or its sequel to read. It is on my list. I was, however, familiar with the story and I was excited to see Caruso's take on the book. I don't think I was really set down by the film so much, but it did seem really rough.

The acting was actually pretty good. I'm really starting to like this Alex Pettyfer dude. With movies like Tormented, Beastly, and In Time, he is really starting to make a name for himself. I look forward to seeing what he can do with a little more experience. Timothy Olyphant does a decent stand in job as well, although his role is rather minor, as John's guardian. Now when you throw in two insanely attractive actors, Teresa Palmer and Dianna Agron, and you have the making of a very watchable film. Everyone does very well in their relatively cookie cutter roles, but it never takes anything away from the film. Callan McAuliffe is an actor to watch out for as plays his role of the curious friendly nerd. I see big things in his future, as there were times during the film where I felt like he was what really held it together, and the side story with his father added depth. I kept trying to see Kevin Durand during the course of the film, as the bad guy, but I felt like it was a role that was underused, and forgettable. He has such a strong presence on screen (Mystery, Alaska; Dark Angel; The Butterfly Effect; Walking tall; Smokin' Aces; 3:10 to Yuma; Legion; X-Men Origins: Wolverine; Robin hood; and many more), but he doesn't get a lot of focus in this film. That made me sad.

The film itself is well paced, with good acting, but I couldn't really get behind it as a whole. There are moments in the film where it seems like it has no direction. Unnecessary filler can kill a film, and it certainly starts to here. The unsatisfying build made for a fizzle of an ending. I surely hope the sequel makes up for it. The flashlight hands thing is pretty cool, but I look forward to him getting more powers. I know in the books, all of the people have several powers. The special effects in the film are extremely cool, but they should be with Bay behind the wheel at producer. All in all I recommend watching the film, but I don't know if it is worth a buy, unless the next two are better, and a trilogy box set comes out. I remain hopeful.

Entertainment Value: 7/10 Cute Pet Chimaera
Cinematic Value: 7/10 Cute Pet Chimaera


The Film Connoisseur said...

Looks interesting, something about it just didnt call my attention, but I've always loved movies about Telekinetic that shot of him lifting that police car grabbed me! I will be checking it out at some point. Thanks for the review!

I hope it's not another Jumper (2008) where they promise future films but never deliver!

R.D. Penning said...

The second book was released last August, and the third one comes out in 2012, so the books are still pretty fresh. I'm sure script is going now on the second one, and they will begin shooting next year. I hope it happens. I might read the books first, but we will see.