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Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

I Am Number Four

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  2_Chicks_Small Jacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for
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I Am Number Four

The intriguing title only gives way to a mediocre film I’m afraid, as a promising premise delivers little more than a sappy teen love story, complete with boring, angst-filled dialogue and long, lingering glances that do nothing to advance the plot.  Alien fugitives from another world (Loriens) are hunted and killed by alien aggressors from yet another world (Mogadorians).  And everyone’s down on good ol’ Planet Earth for the cat and mouse game.

There were nine special Loriens, each given a warrior/guardian and a unique power.  Lorien Numbers One through Three are dead, killed by the vicious Mogadorians, big linebacker-sized dudes in black dusters a la Matrix.  Uniformly bald, with pointed teeth and barely any white in their eyes, they breathe through gills on the side of their nose and sound like they’re speaking English with a Scandinavian accent.  Now that’s scary.  They cart around two flesh-eating beasts in an iron truck and they’re killing the Loreans in order.  With Number Three reduced to ashes, John advances to the front of the line.

Number Four goes by the earth name of John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), which turns out to be as original as a lot of the other plot points in this sci-fi-gone-awry attempt at introducing two new races of extra-terrestrials living on earth.  The Loriens are good; the Mogadurians are bad, ugly, vicious, and apparently, all male.

John’s guardian is Henri (Timothy Olyphant) and his power is shooting two blinding beams of light out through his palms that have the power to stop and freeze aggression from any source.  The two Loriens travel cross country as fugitive father and son, living in small towns until they are detected and forced to relocate.  One such town, named oxymoronically Paradise, Ohio, is where John meets his one true love.  Sarah (Dianna Agron) is a photographer who still uses film in her camera.   The conventional is now considered off-beat.

The two embark on a somber teen romance that will bore the majority of viewers, leaving only the Twilight fans to swoon, unless they’ve fallen asleep, too.

There’s action and special effects, and the bad guys have no redeeming qualities.  They’re just bad so you can keep everything straight.  Ugly guys in black: bad.  Pretty boy with strange powers and off-beat girlfriend: good.

Of course the Mogadorians finally catch up with John and the final half hour reminds you that, oh yeah, this was supposed to have space aliens in it.  Many questions are left unanswered in the optimistic hope of a sequel.  The biggest question of all is, will anyone care?

Based on the teen novel by Pittacus Lore, and directed by D.J. Caruso of Disturbia fame, I Am Number Four begins as a promising extraterrestrial mystery and ends as a disappointing made for TV movie, mired in a silly, slow moving boyfriend/girlfriend drama that incorporates a human bully and nerd before it takes on the galactic gang that would destroy the world.  That sound you just heard was the collective audience’s head falling forward with a thud.

This is a Dreamworks Production that takes the dream part literally (snore) while neglecting the works until the very end, and by then it’s lost everyone but tweens and adolescents who must have crushes mixed in with their crashes and frivolous flirting intermingled with the flammable.

With so much mundane human interaction, perhaps a more suitable title would be I Am Number Four-mula.

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