Sunday, February 20, 2011

"I Am Number Four"

You know what pisses me off? Twilight. I haven't read the books or seen all the movies, but the movie of New Moon was enough to convince me that it was a very uninteresting franchise that shouldn't have its popularity. The characters are all too perfect, the storyline gets propelled by idiotic actions on the part of said characters, and it gets particularly annoying when the attractiveness of all the main characters is overemphasized over and over and over again.

On the other side of the coin, though, you know what makes me interested? Stories that try to cash in on Twilight's success. If I want to be perfectly honest with myself, the hook of the Twilight franchise is honestly a pretty interesting hook: boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy is something supernatural/inhuman that creates complications, shenanigans ensue. The execution of this by the series is absolutely terrible, but it's still an interesting hook.

So when you see me reviewing today's movie, don't be particularly shocked.

I Am Number Four

Many years ago, the planet of Lorien was destroyed by the Mogadorians. However, the inhabitants were able to ferry off nine teenagers that end up becoming hunted down on Earth. Three of the children have been killed, thus leaving Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) as their next target. When he moves to Paradise, Ohio to hide from the Mogadorians, however, he meets Sarah (Dianna Agron) and falls in love with her.

And things get crazy from there.

... After the generic high-school drama thing, of course. Perhaps the biggest problem with this movie is that it spends far too much time on the generic high-school stuff that gets very boring after a while. We've seen this story before, and it's dully retold while going through basically every single one of the requisite steps. Football jock bullies? Check. Outcast nerd friend? Check. Love interest? Check. Main character feels left out? Check. It's all painfully generic, and it tends to drag.

It also doesn't help that some of the acting is a bit off. Alex Pettyfer especially doesn't help the believability--and unfortunately for him, almost none of the things wrong with his performance are his fault. Pettyfer is actually one of the most competent actors of the whole production, but he suffers from being almost insultingly miscast in the title role. Everyone else is rather middling in terms of acting, and the performances range from reasonably good to barely tolerable. And this especially doesn't help us get invested in the characters enough for us to really want to sit through the boring parts.

Fortunately, though, the movie manages to make up for a rather slow first two acts with a third act that is really action packed. The action scenes in this movie were actually very entertaining, and while it can be difficult to see what is going on at times, the action is still nothing short of exciting. And this gets even more crazy when the alien weaponry and one of the other Lorian teens (Number Six, played by Teresa Palmer) start to come into play. The exciting quality of the action scenes therefore helped me forget the last hour or so of boring high school drama, and ultimately rendered it from being completely boring.

So while it is dragged down by middling acting, a very unfortunately mis-cast Alex Pettyfer, and a very generic and uninteresting first two acts, I Am Number Four ultimately is rendered watchable, possibly even enjoyable, by some good action scenes. It's wierd that the action ultimately saves the whole movie, but there you have it.


If you want to go see it, go see it. If you don't want to go see it, don't go see it.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh! "Football jock bullies? Check. Outcast nerd friend? Check. Love interest? Check. Main character feels left out? Check." I know, I know, but this story seems to indicate something I enjoy. Great work film industry for knowing me so well. This is the common theme in a huge amount of movies that I love. I also go for the story where "new girl makes enemies with the in crowd and eventually becomes awesome making the in crowd look like a bunch of jerks", and the romantic "boy and girl fall in love, one is outcast for whatever reason, and they can't be together because of this, whether it's friends or parents interfering", whatever, it's awful I know. I can't help myself. I am not saying these are my favorite movies, maybe they are more like my guilty pleasures, but I know what you mean, and I too need more to make it a favorite. I liked this movie, but I found it to be VERY similar to Jumper or Push, which I also enjoyed. But really, how many other options are there? Everything is tired and used up but that's what we like, go green, recycle. I mean honestly, why do you think they make ridiculous movies, like Inception, that make no sense but at least have a fresh story line.