We went to see “I am number four” with little to no expectations, which is just as well. I had spied a snippet of the film and had allowed myself to believe this maybe another new kid on the block superhero film. Alas no. The film is an adaptation of a book of the same name aimed at young adults, a genre, which seem to be breeding a whole host of “twists on a classic tale”. Director, D.J. Caruso has directed “Disturbia” and “Eagle Eye”, both films we enjoyed. I had assumed the reason why was the common factor Shia LaBoeuf. The jury is still out
Alex Pettyer plays John Smith aka Number 4, one of eight teen aliens with extraordinary gifts of having blue lights shoot from their palms that allow them to perform all manner of superhero type tricks; use kinetic energy to hurl people around, bounce here and there, start cars, amongst other powers. John and his protector Henri (the wonderful Timothy Olyphant) are evading the Mogadorians who destroyed their home planet, are threatening human kind and now want to annihilate the eight descendents who can save earth. Sounds familiar? That’s because it is.
There are several cringe-worthy moments movie-goers, all unintentional. Henri’s advice to John to keep a low-pro is ridiculous. How does someone who should be bronzed over to preserve his stunning good looks and with whom you could scrub your clothes on his abs, blend in? You guessed it, he lifts his hoodie. Not really that stealthy. In addition, the penguinesque mate for life love interest storyline is pretty gruesome. Sarah (Diana Agron) was also part of the beautiful people, but gave up her life as one of the popular kids when she found photography. I mean, please!
We never felt that the badie aliens were actually a threat to human kind. They appeared to be quite menacing without any sophisticated weaponry at the beginning of the film but resorted to guns by the end. Then one of the aliens, pins John down, mistakes the time situation and launches into a monologue. Why the Penelope Pitstop situation to allow the good guy to escape?
The film reeks of familiarity on many counts, but remember this is a teen-movie, so youngsters today will not necessarily know Superman, Buffy, X-Files like thirty year olds. However, if you have low expectations and are in a mood for action, CGI and fun fight scene, I can promise you it takes very few brain cells to watch this film. The soundtrack is not too bad either and features amongst others Kings of Leon and Adele. There are less than forty-eight hours to the Oscars, but I am pretty sure the team behind this movie are not reeling from distress for not getting this in the cinemas sooner. This is a plain action movie, which will be a box-office success. Take it for what it is, sit back and enjoy been fifteen again.