Monday, March 7, 2011
I Am Number Four
I Am Number Four
Director: D.J. Caruso
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer
In My Own Words
"I Am Number Four" is director, D.J. Caruso's first cinematic stab at the sci-fi genre. He's had experience with sci-fi in television with directing stint's in "Smallville" and "Dark Angel", but this is his first go at it on the big screen. Caruso has already proved himself more than capable of directing thrillers with credit to his name such as "Taking Lives", "Disturbia" and "Eagle Eye". So making a sci-fi thriller, shouldn't be too hard a task for him. Especially with the help of producer Michael Bay who knows a thing or two about sci-fi considering he is currently completing his fourth sci-fi film in a row. Yes, you are right. It is the 3rd Transformers he is in the process of finishing off. So, thriller expert plus sci-fi action expert, we should have a winner on our hands with "I Am Number Four"!
Ironically, or maybe not so, these were the two men who were ultimately responsible for the rise of Shia LaBeouf. LaBeouf had been in the business since 1998 when he was only 12 years old, but at 21 in 2007 he was given his first top billing in a major film. It was D.J. Caruso who cast him as the teenager, Kale under house arrest in "Disturbia". His next major role (besides lending his voice talents to the animated feature "Surf's Up") was as Sam Whitwicky in "Transformers" directed by Michael Bay. So thanks to Caruso and Bay, international movie superstar! My point is, is the same thing in store for Alex Pettyfer considering he's got these two in the same film? Unlike LaBeouf. Pettyfer has already been top billed in the family film "Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker", but this is his first billed as an adult in a main stream film. His next film is "Beastly", the modern day "Beauty And The Beast" story with Vanessa Hudgens and Dakota Fanning, which has just been released in the states. It has made over $10 million in it's first week. He next film is "Now " with Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfreid and Cilliam Murphy, and he is rumoured to have been cast in "The Seventh Son" with Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Lawrence. Things are definately looking up for Pettyfer. Caruso and Bay are proving themselves to be lucky charms with their actors!
These are my own words and here is my review.
"I Am Number Four" is a film that has a little bit for everyone. It has action, aliens, romance, high school drama, family drama and some very good looking people. It is what you would expect a film to be with all these credentials, it is entertaining and quite a bit of fun. "I Am Number Four" is not the number one film you will see this year, but it certainly fulfils it's purpose. Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) may look and act human and feel human emotion, but he is not your normal everyday teenager. He is a Lorien, or an alien, and must do everything in his power to keep it a secret as there are forces out there who are killing the remaining Lorien's one by one. Just as Number Three falls victim, Number Four don's the alias of John Smith and moves to Paradise, Ohio. While trying to stay incognito, John falls in love with schoolgirl photographer, Sarah ( Dianna Agron) and befriends outcast Sam (Callan McAuliffe). These new friendships make it harder than it ever has been before to pack up and leave and puts himself and his friends in danger.
The combination of D.J. Caruso as director and Michael Bay as producer is a great combination for this movie. It brings the suspense and great story telling of a Caruso film and the special effects and spectacular cinematography of a Bay film. There are some amazing action sequences and the special effects in scenes such as the final battle are actually quite beautiful to watch. Of course, the film is very unrealistic and even quite silly at times as one would expect with a story like this. The characters are also very stereo typical and the story is not particularly original or unpredictable, which again is something people would expect from a film like this. However, because this film falls under a the sci-fi genre where these things are expected they are forgiven.
The good thing about this film is that it has great character development. Yes the characters are stereotypical, but during the span of the film you get to know each of the characters, who they are and their backgrounds. The acting isn't too life changing. Alex Pettyfer does carry the film well and he really does outperform all the other actors. He is does seem natural in the role, but at times can also come across a bit boring. Dianna Agron does well in her role away from the sometimes evil sometimes sweet Quinn in "Glee", although she doesn't put the emotion into her performance when it really counts. She does well in the natural scenes and then lacks when she should be giving more. Timothy Olyphant isn't bad as John's protector, Henri, but isn't a stand out.
"I Am Number Four" is not a great piece of work but it does entertain and that is what Caruso has set out to do in this film. Really, you can't ask more of a movie than to succeed in doing what it is meant to do.