I AM Number Four is an interesting experiment in publishing. Several years ago the popularity of Comic Books caused several Hollywood Producers to launch their own comic book publishing companies in the hopes of launching movie productions. This has largely failed. I Am Number Four is a similar experiment in multiplatform marketing, only this time the movie deal was signed before the book was released, so this is a planned 5 book series. Based on my reading of the first book, I don’t particularly see how they can sustain the story for five books, much less five movies. After reading the book, I had serious concerns about the movie – however, this is the rare occasion where the movie is better than the book. Maybe it is because I didn’t have to put up with 300 pages of inner monologue – re: whining “whoa is me, I have powers, but I can’t use them and I have to hide.”
Director D.J. Caruso doesn’t really attempt to explain anything that’s going on and maybe it’s because I did read the book that it didn’t bother me as much as it normally would. We get the basics, we find out that there is a race of Aliens who live on Earth called the Lorien, they each have a protector and are running from a group of aliens called the Mogadorian. As the nine Lorien’s grow they each start to develop “Legacies,” different powers like Teleporting, Healing, Telekinesis, etc.
The Lorien are all that stand between Mogadorians taking over the Earth. But it’s never explained exactly how they would accomplish this since we only see 4 of them. All we know is they destroyed the Lorien home world, so I guess they can do it to Earth. In the book there is a good flashback sequence where Number Four – John’s (Alex Pettyfer) protector Henri (Timothy Olyphant) describes the destruction of their planet. It would have been nice to have that sequence in the movie. Also the movie never explains that the Nine Lorien’s have to be killed in order (hence the name I Am Number Four). But then, I don’t think the book ever explains what happens if they are killed out of order.
Glee’s Dianna Agron is Sarah, the love of John’s life. The girl Number Four wants to risk everything for. The entire first part of this movie hinges on the audience believing this couple’s relationship and unfortunately there is absolutely no chemistry between Agron and Pettyfer. As a matter of fact, as a fan of Glee, I don’t think Agron has much of a screen (big or small) presence at all. She’s just kind of there. Although I did enjoy her pregnant version of It’s a Man’s World on Glee.
After meandering for the first half of the film, the movie really picks up when Number Six (Teresa Palmer) makes her appearance. In her short time on camera Palmer elevates the movie and Caruso ramps up the action to level 8 in the last 15 or 20 minutes. I wish the rest of the movie matched the intensity and awesomeness of the last act.
Picture, Audio, and Presentation
The transfer on this Blu-ray is solid. There’s not much to complain about. The color pallet is a bit muted and bland. It’s not brilliant and vibrant, but the picture is sharp and clear. There isn’t much to say about the Audio, this really isn’t a movie that has a lot of audio fidelity that’s worth talking about and the soundtrack is about as bland and non-existent as you can get. This disc includes something called Descriptive Audio it’s a feature that let’s blind people “listen” to the movie, it turns the movie into an Audio Book. It’s a pretty cool feature.
This is a disappointing Blu-ray in terms of extras – we get trailers for some Pirates and Real Steel, Pirates and ABC TV. Other than that, the disc includes a couple of deleted scenes, a short blooper reel and a 5 minute featurette called Becoming Number Six and that’s about it. Very disappointing. The Combo Pack includes the Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy.
I liked I Am Number Four well enough, but there are basically “no” extras on the Blu-ray and the movie isn’t worth a purchase. This is a nice weekend rental and not much else.
- Movie – C
- Picture/Audio – C
- Extras – D
Final Grade C
EM Review by
Originally posted 6.1.2011