I Am Number Four (2011)

Actors: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer, Callan McAuliffe
Director: D.J. Caruso
Writers: Alfred Gough, James Frey, Jobie Hughes, Marti Noxon, Miles Millar
Producers: Chris Bender, David Valdes
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Language: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 1
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Touchstone Pictures/ DreamWorks
DVD Release Date: May 24, 2011
Run Time: 109 minutes



The titular Number Four is a hunky alien played by Alex Pettyfer, one of the few survivors of his planet. Number Four tries to blend in as a teenager on Earth to hide from the aliens that destroyed his home world and is now hunting him.

He however has a tough time blending in: being impossibly good-looking doesn’t help and neither does the superpowers he has difficulty controlling such as his flashlight hands (hey, come on, who wouldn’t want any?).

The movie is based on a teen read co-written by James Frey (of A Million Little Pieces fame) under the pseudonym of Pittacus Lore, which sounds a bit like a fantasy teen book franchise in itself. It is meant to be the first of a series of books and the movie plays like a pilot episode of a TV series in more than one way. (Incidentally the sequel titled The Power of Six will be published on August 23, 2011.)

Not only is the ending open-ended (one expects a “Number Four’s exciting adventures will continue in . . .” message to flash across the screen), but the movie feels flat . . . like something you’d watch on television for free and not buy a movie ticket for or even rent.

THE DISC: For such an effects-heavy film, I Am Number Four is surprisingly light on extras. The Blu-ray contains a short series of cut scenes, a blooper reel, an audio commentary by director D.J. Caruso and a ten-minute promotional short covering Palmer’s underused Number Six.

The DVD version lacks the deleted scenes, but has the blooper and the documentary short. As is becoming increasingly common, the producers are releasing the Blu-ray and DVD in single editions, or together with a digital copy in a single three-disc set.

WORTH IT? What might work on the written page doesn’t necessarily work on the big – or even the small screen - in this case. The end results are mediocre at best and outright dull at worst. Pettyfer’s teenaged hero is simply bland and uninteresting.

The mid-section of the movie drags. The action picks up towards the end for a special effects filled finale replete with giant space dogs (no, really), but one still can’t shake the feeling that one is watching a TV episode instead of a full-blown Hollywood production.

RECOMMENDATION: A rental at best, I Am Number Four isn’t outright bad, just mediocre and easily forgettable. Hormonally imbalanced teenaged girls anxious for the next Twilight flick would disagree though . . .



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