Saturday, April 9, 2011

I've Got this movie's Number ...

It came out weeks ago and made relatively no noise, but it looked fair enough at the time ... So a last minute audible was called and we decided to check out I Am Number Four.

The plot's simple enough. Super powered teen alien survivors of an all but extinct race, having taken refuge on Earth, are being hunted and killed off in numerical order by ANOTHER group of less-teen and more-ugly aliens. The main hero is Number 4, played by Alex Pettyfer. Sound a bit cheesy? It is.

Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised with I Am Number Four. You see the trailer and you think you know what it's going to be, but it turns out to be a bit more. Thankfully, it was only produced by Michael Bay and not directed by, so all the props go to actual director D.J. Caruso, who also did Eagle Eye. He let this teen drama/ sci-fi action flick unfold at its own pace, so although you get the usual elements - "the new kid in school", "the sexy love interest", "the geek needing a best friend", "the bully football player" ... We really got to know each character and appreciate their motivations, which in turn helped us cheer for them when the confrontations finally started. There's even some nice scenes of the evil alien hunters doing normal stuff like grocery shopping which are pretty memorable.

The movie does suffer from having almost TOO much story that it wants to tell. There are a lot of mini mysteries floating around way too long, like with the dog, where by the time it's revealed, we've already figured it out, and don't care as much. Plus, we get so much of some characters, like the the love interest Sarah, played terrifically by Dianna Agron, that we don't get enough of some of the sci-fi people we want more of, like Timothy Olyphant's Henri or Teresa Palmer's Number 6.

When all is said and done? I Liked it. Nice teen angst stuff without becoming too sickening. Likable, well layered characters with solid smarts, even the minor ones. Plus some fun action battles. It's worth checking out if you can find a theater still showing it.

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