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    March 11, 2011

    MOVIE REVIEW: I AM NUMBER FOUR

    I AM NUMBER FOUR (PG13)

    Genre: Action/Science Fiction
    Release Date: 24 February 2011
    Running Time: 110 minutes
    Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures, DreamWorks Pictures
    Director: D.J. Caruso
    Screenplay: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Marti Noxon, based on 'I Am Number Four' by Pittacus Lore
    Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Kevin Durand, Teresa Palmer

    Plot: Nine infant aliens, who closely resemble humans flee from their home planet Lorien, to hide on Earth. An invading species, the Mogadorians who have destroyed their planet follows them to Earth to hunt them down. Each of the nine aliens is given a guardian and they will develop superhuman powers as they grew up. They are each assigned a number and these last children of Lorien can only be killed in the sequence of their numbers. Number Four (Alex Pettyfer), also named John Smith moves to Paradise, Ohio, disguised as an American high school student. He befriended a girl named Sarah (Dianna Agron), a sweet Midwesterner who is a photographer. After being on the run his whole life, Number Four falls in love and now has something to stand up and fight for.


    Reviews: There is no doubt that 2011 is already becoming a tentpole year for aliens invasion and aliens seeking for peace down here. With abundant of choices and genre to pick for, I Am Number Four is lucky to become among the first to be released in theaters. I Am Number Four rides with a highly-acclaimed and successful children's book it based on; that is written by Pittacus Lore, a pseudonym for James Frey and Jobie Hughes. It spent 6 weeks on the New York Times' Best Seller list and it has already established quite an amount of fan-base. Eying for golden eggs, DreamWorks quickly seized the opportunity to adapt the first book hoping the targeted audience will response. Despite the great talents behind the camera and on-screen, how does the movie fare in general?

    I Am Number Four is the first chapter of a planned franchise which takes a look on the life of John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), an alien from the planet Lorian who seeks refuge on Earth to escape an invading race, the Mogadorians which destroyed his home planet. Been one of the nine children whom were sent down to the Earth, each of the them will grow up, possessing own superpowers, strength and agility. The Mogadorians, lead by the Commander (Kevin Durand) arrive on the Earth in a mission to kill all the nine infants. Under some protective charms, the children can only be killed according to the designated order.

    John Smith and his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) constantly move around to avoid the Mogadorians. Fate brings them to Paradise, Ohio where John befriends conspiracy theorist Sam Goode (Callan McAuliffe) and falls for the school's amateur photographer Sarah Hart (Dianna Agron). With the Mogadorians coming in close behind his tail, he makes his decision to stay put in Paradise to fight them, instead of running away. What is the fate of John after that?


    I Am Number Four has a plot story that sounds and looks so familiar. Is it the Twilight or the used to be TV-hit Roswell? Yes, they share some common ground with the leading lady falls for the mysterious leading man. Then, there is this puppy love that grows into something else, the same triangle love, the same type of characters and both are adapted from popular materials. So to say, it looks like a carbon copy of the Twilight Saga and to make it worst, it is already becoming more like a cliche with that level of standard when making a movie that aims at teenagers. However, I Am Number Four manages to stand out on its own by creating more action sequences than drama itself. That is safe to say that there is less meltdown, more focus and less parlor narration about how sucks my life is (read Twilight!)


    Director D.J. Caruso puts on another type of movie that has been the same signature of his own like in the past. Besides Disturbia, I hardly enjoyed his list of film resumes including the noisy yet entertaining Eagle Eye. It seems like I Am Number Four is just the same like his last film, with Caruso puts in a lot of noisy actions, derivations and unnecessary mayhems on the streets. To be honest, I glad that I Am Number Four is nothing like Twilight and does things way better than the sleepy and chill drama about desperation. After all, with all the big names behind this movie, I Am Number Four works as an exciting package with blends action, romantic and science fiction into a watchable movie; although the elements of originality can be questioned and the movie itself is memorable in the first place.

    Acting-wise, I thought the castings are good and certainly have make the movie feels better than let's say The Twilight. Alex Pettyfer does some good job nailing the character although it is still lacking some dimension. Instead, Teresa Palmer steals the show by kicking ass around more frequent than the lead role. Another note, it is nice to see Dianna Agron in a 'damsel-in-distress' character.

    What ever you think about I Am Number Four does not matter. Good or bad, it is watchable but it feels like some recycle factory with familiar plot, character and premise. It is better than Twilight but not necessary been anywhere that damn good.

    THE RATING:
    Story: 3.0
    Casts: 3.0
    Cinematography: 3.5
    Effects: 3.5
    GREEN-TEA-O-METER: 12.4/20.0
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