Written by: Alfred Gough (screenplay), Miles Millar
Directed by: D.J. Caruso
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Diana Agron
- Suggested Alternate Title
Spy Kids 5: New Moon
- My Synopsis
This past winter, when I first started seeing trailers for this film, I was really excited because I am often drawn to TV shows and movies that feature everyday people with supernatural abilities. Unfortunately, I Am Number Four offers only a dumbed-down kid’s flick with some of the laziest script writing since Showgirls.
I Am Number Four is a film about a select group of children and chaperons that escape to Earth when their planet is destroyed by Mogadorians. John “Number Four” Smith (Alex Pettyfer) and his chaperon, or “warrior” Henri (Timothy Olyphant), are always on the run from the Mogadorians, while still trying to blend in with small town society. Pettyfer’s character develops some superpowers, along with hormones and some wicked keloid scars. He meets a girl, falls in love, is warned against it, doesn’t listen, all Hell breaks loose, and then John Smith learns that protecting the last of his kind is the one thing that truly matters so all other things must wait. Oh, and he also befriends the bullied kid because all superheroes need sidekicks.
- Please Defend Your Film
Alfred Gough (credits include Herbie Fully Loaded and Smallville)
Miles Millar (credits include Lethal Weapon 4 and Shanghai Noon)
There are so many things wrong with this story. It’s almost as if you expected your entire audience to be made up of seven year olds and you didn’t want to distract them with too much detail. John and Henri are on the run from Mogadorians. Okay, cool. Why? Is it a Hatfield v. McCoy situation, is the reason 72 virgins adjacent, or are the Mogadorians just a bunch of jerks? Why does the handle of Henri’s knife glow? Is it a magic knife or is that just a bonus feature that came with his latest upgrade? And when you have to use the cell phone display of a text message as a plot device more than once, which you did at least three times, you should throw that script in the trash, question your career path, and maybe take a quick peek at the classifieds.
D.J. Caruso (credits include Disturbia and Taking Lives)
Are you satisfied with your directing in the big kissing scene? Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron’s (Sarah) characters behave as if this is their first kiss ever, not just their first kiss with each other. Weren’t they dating each other during filming? Shouldn’t it have been fairly simple to direct a kissing scene with a real-life couple? Perhaps something along the lines of “Don’t look like there’s a 50/50 shot you’re gonna hurl, Di.”, or “Eat Diana’s face less, Alex.” The kiss was the perfect opportunity to draw the audience into Sarah and John’s budding romance; all I got out of it was a better understanding of why Pettyfer and Agron split after the release of the film.
Alex Pettyfer (credits include Beastly and Tormented)
I realize you were attempting to portray emotion in your performance, but when you saw the final project, did you notice you look like you have to poop every single time you try any facial expression other than a vacant smile? You have a botox junkie’s ability to visually emote. But not to worry. I am sure someone at SyFy is WordPadding a script right now that is just perfect for you.
Timothy Olyphant (credits include Scream 2 and Justified)
Did signing on to a movie where you play the nonessential Jiminy Cricket character really seem like a sound idea at some point? Did you read the script, turn to your agent and say something like, “I’ve been wanting to take a step backward in my burgeoning career, and I think playing this irrelevant character, Henri, is just the way to do it.”? It seems like starring in The Crazies is turning out be one of your better decisions.
- My Judgment
out of 5 sad faces
This film’s basic problem is that it’s completely forgettable. The characters are so one-dimensional that they earn no empathy from the audience. The plot is so bare, I had a little trouble remembering what actually bothered me about the film, except that it made me like iPhones a little less. Also, the soundtrack is distracting in its Twilight Saga-esque need to impress the “cool” kids by being too loud and desperately trendy; it comes across as obnoxious and generic. Be that as it may, I Am Number Four does have a few cool VFX-driven moments and cheesy jokes that made me smile, despite all its other problems. My recommendation is to watch it on a rainy Sunday afternoon - but only after exhausting all other options.
- Next Time