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I Am Number Four - Movie Review by CinemaScavarda

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“I Am Number Four” is a derivative, oft silly, teen super powers movie that is far more entertaining than it has any right to be.

Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) is the angst ridden loner teenager who happens to be wildly gorgeous. And he's an alien (a Lorien) whose planet was destroyed when he was very little. Nine Lorien children were secreted off to Earth where their latent super powers (named Legacies) begin to manifest in their teenage years. The Lorien Nine are being hunted by their archenemies the Mogadorians, hell bent on wiping them out. The movie opens with an action scene where Number Three is killed in a jungle. A third Lorien symbol is burned painfully into Number Four's leg as Number Three dies.

Number Four and his Lorien Guardian (Timothy Olyphant who is quite good in the role) dash off to Ohio where he takes on the identity of John Smith. From here, teenage romance cliches ensue. There's a beautiful and artistic high school girl (Dianna Agron as Sarah) a nerdy kid who is picked on (Callan McAuliffe as Sam) and a group of football team bullies.

The lonely high school boy who falls for the lovely high school girl is predictable and not executed here in an engaging manner. Neither Pettyfer nor Agron bring much romantic spark to the proceedings. There are scenes of John experiencing a nuclear family dinner, John and Sarah strolling down the street, a kiss in front of the house; you get the idea. In the middle of the high school romance nonsense, John manifests a legacy power, blue beams of power that shoot from his hands. He freaks for a short minute or two and then learns to control it in the next minute or two.

The action sequences and fight scenes are what makes this movie fun. The special effects are quite good throughout and create a decent amount of excitement and momentum. The script even finds a way to incorporate special effect monsters which actually detract from the aliens fighting one another rather than enhance the proceedings.

The best part of this movie is Number Six (Teresa Palmer). Via YouTube postings, she gets wind of Number Four's existence (his super power outbursts were caught on cell phone video and promptly posted) and heads off on a gigantic motorcycle to track him down. Number Six is flashy, confident, possesses a number of very useful Legacy powers and, of course, arrives in time for the climactic fight scene.

That final big set piece fight scene has all the requisite explosions, burst of alien powers, fire, weapons and cute quips. Yes, it is really formulaic but, contrary to the high school silliness, it is entertaining, silly but definitely entertaining.

The final scene basically is a set-up for a sequel. If a sequel is made (which seems unlikely due to the very lifeless box office), a few recommendations
1) lose the silly romance (although Four was told that Loriens mate for life so the girl is probably not going away),
2) lose Four and focus on Six (she's much more intriguing) and
3) have at least one Lorien who isn't drop dead gorgeous join the cast.

Rating: 4 out of 10

[Note – there has been internet speculation that Alex Pettyfer is up for the role of Peeta in Hunger Games. As a huge Hunger Games devotee, I am way too invested in news about the casting of that film. After this role as Number Four, I'm definitely not in the Pettyfer for Peeta camp. His look is right but the necessary huge dose of charisma is missing.)

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