D.J. Caruso knows a thing or two about finding and cultivating young talent. In 2007, he picked a fresh from Disney Shia Labeouf to headline his Rear Window homage Disturbia, which sent him on a path to super stardom. Now four years later he’s doing the same with British actor Alex Pettyfer who stars as the title character in his sci-fi action flick I Am Number Four. Check out our review…

The Players:

  • Director: D.J. Caruso
  • Screenwriters: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Marti Noxon, James Frey and Jobie Hughes (novel)
  • Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Kevin Durand, Jake Abel, Teresa Palmer
  • Cinematography By: Guillermo Navarro
  • Original Music By: Trevor Rabin

The Plot:

I Am Number Four centers on a teenage alien named John, who along with his guardian Henri (Olyphant) travel across the country to avoid capture by enemies from their home planet. John desperately tries to fit in and have a normal life but his involvement with a girl named Sarah (Agron) could blow his cover and endanger both their lives.

The Good:

  • Timothy Olyphant: None of the characters in this film have any real substance and Olyphant’s Henri is the closest we get to someone likable. The role was previously supposed to go to Sharlto Copley, but Olyphant was definitely the better choice. Not every actor can take cheesy dialogue (more on that below) and make it somewhat tolerable.
  • The Action: The best part of I Am Number Four is the last 15 minutes when there’s nothing but nonstop action. Caruso did a great job of directing those scenes because there’s a lot going on but you can actually see what each person is doing. The fights are actually comprehensible. The CGI looks pretty good and the fight choreography is great.

The Bad:

  • The Dialogue: One word: horrible! There are some truly horrific monologues given in this movie. There are several voice over scenes that are supposed to explain who they are, where they come from, and the threat looming over them. Unfortunately, it’s a boggled mess that goes in one ear and out the other. You just catch that John and Henri are good aliens, and the tall, ugly ones are not. Also, Pettyfer and Agron have some scenes filled with corny declarations of love, while Palmer’s character only seems to speak in taglines. Everything that comes out of her mouth is a quip.
  • Dianna Agron: Cue Alfred Hitchock’s soft-focus and place it on Sarah. She is a one dimensional indie girl, who’s into photography and wants to escape the clutches of her small town home. That’s it. She has nothing else to offer. Everything always comes back to her and her photography, which also isn’t that interesting.
  • Product Placement: I really wanted to check and see if Apple or Steve Jobs had an executive producer credit on this movie. Both Henri and John had iPhones and they used them ALL THE TIME. They were constantly calling and text messaging each other. The iPhone should appear on the cast list because it got more screentime than some of the actors.
  • The Editing: There are a lot of continuity issues in this film. There are several sequences where people go from point A to C, and they never explain what happened to B. Sometimes that can work and as a viewer you can piece together how someone got to where they were, but that isn’t the case here. It looks like the editor took out chunks of shots to save time and it’s extremely obvious.

Overall:

I Am Number Four has great action and that’s pretty much it. You have to sit through an hour of bad dialogue and plot holes before you get to the good stuff, but it’s well worth it.

Rating: 7.5/10

I Am Number Four opens in theaters everywhere on February 18th.

Photo Gallery:

Trailer:

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Do you plan on seeing I Am Number Four this weekend?