Movie Review: I Am Number Four. (Beware of spoilers)

February 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

I was pretty stoked to see I Am Number Four; there aren’t very many movies that I care to see in theatres, much less the night they premiere.  But when my husband had shared this trailer with me a couple months ago, I was hooked.

The movie is based on a book written by Pittacus Lore, which of course is a pseudonym, and it’s about 9 aliens that come to earth after fleeing their planet which was destroyed by evil aliens who are trying to kill them in numerical order.  The first three are dead and the movie is about, of course, number four who tries to avoid the evil aliens (Mogadarians) by blending in as a high school student where he of course falls in love with a human.

I enjoyed the movie for the following reasons:

1.  Alex Pettyfer is not just a pretty face.  He’s actually a decent actor.  He has a lot of great facial expressions at appropriate times.  I think he’ll be criticized for being too stoic too often, but I think it’s also part of his character; he has all sorts of secrets that he can’t let out he’s just really careful about what he says and to whom.

2.  It’s fast paced.  The movie is at least 2 hours long, but I didn’t feel like I was sitting in the theatre forever.  Although, I also didn’t think it went by so fast that I was disappointed.  It started with the death of number 3 and segued from there to number 4 running to Ohio and trying to get away from the Mogadarians.  It got right to the point, and didn’t leave time for a lot of down time.

3.  There’s an extremely cute beagle that turns into this giant evil-fighting beast.  What’s not to love about that?

4.  The music was spectacular.  I’m one of those people that always know what’s playing in the background of movies, and I have to say I will be downloading/purchasing this soundtrack before today is done.  The music was right on cue, mixing indie with pop and keeping with the pace of the movie.  My favorite was the song that was playing when number 6 burned down number 4’s house.

5.  The supporting actors/actresses were just as good as the main character.  Dianna Agron didn’t disappoint, though because she played yet another high school student, I still wonder about her actual acting skills.  She and Pettyfer are of course way older than the characters they were supposed to be portraying, but Sam was not, which made it a little more realistic, although it was a weird juxtaposition of age at the same time.  The football guys were idiots (like they stereotypically are) but they didn’t dress like most jocks.  I’m not sure if that’s an Ohio thing or a movie thing, but at the same time that they didn’t look like jocks, they definitely carried that jerkish attitude.

6.  The evil Mogadarians were great.  They didn’t look like most aliens do in movies now, and the actors that played them were pretty convincing as evil guys.  What I liked most though is how evil they were:  there was a scene when the head alien sliced the innards of two civilians with this evil gadget which was really creepy and sick, so you got the idea that these aliens aren’t just bad, they’re evil at the very core; there was also a scene where they killed the janitor at the school who was buffering the floor, but all you saw was the bufferer moving on its own with a pool of blood around it.  It was creepy without being gory, so that there was no question how terrible these bad guys were, but we didn’t have to sit there and watch their evil ways.

There were definitely some major disappointments, and the main one was that this movie can absolutely not stand alone.  It’s supposed to be a series/trilogy/saga, and this was the first installment.  Like Harry Potter, each movie has a definite beginning and end, and if you want to watch the first you can, and not feel as if any plot information is left out.  With this movie; however, there were so many plot lines left unanswered, it unnerved me:

What’s with that weird box?
Why did the beagle follow him?
Why did number 6 find him?
What’s with those weird rocks?
If he’s really in love with her, why didn’t she go with him?
What’s the deal with Sam’s dad?
They killed all those bad aliens, where are the others?
If 6’s protector was killed, were the aliens following her?
If so, I thought they could only be killed in numerical order?

Not to mention, Henri at one point says to John that they don’t love like humans, the love one person forever, and if this is true, the love story between John and Sarah wasn’t believable in that sense.  But, maybe it wasn’t supposed to be?

I didn’t get a chance to read the book before I watched the movie, and maybe this would answer the questions.  I actually think that I enjoyed the movie more because I didn’t read the book, though, because I didn’t have to sit there wondering which scene the directors would keep or throw out or how they would write the storyline.  Plus, the trailer wasn’t too clear as to what exactly would happen, and it was nice to be able to watch a movie without knowing what was left out and how/if it would help the overall storyline.

All in all, I recommend the movie, although I do know some that didn’t like it.  It has enough action for the guys to enjoy (there were more guys than girls in the movie, surprisingly) and enough pretty for the girls to like.  It also played like a mystery/suspense movie, so if you’re into those kind of things, I think you’ll enjoy it.  Just be prepared for the mystery to not be solved at the end.

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