Based on the bestselling children's book of the same title, I Am Number Four doesn't make very many demands on its audience, nor does it give us many gifts apart from being aesthetically pleasing.
Then why on Earth would I watch it, you ask. Four reasons.
Number One: Alex Pettyfer
Judge me all you want, but don't pretend you don't feel something. Turns he may be a bit of psycho rage monster, and his acting wasn't terribly solid (I had no idea an American accent was so difficult to maintain), but c'mon, who couldn't spend an hour and a half staring at that?
Number Two: Marti Noxon
The massively talented writer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame (and many more shows, but none worth mentioning in the same sentence as Buffy) was brought in to fix an apparently clunky script. The original screenplay was written by the guys who created Smallville, and you can see their heavy-handed, brooding, melodramatic, choppy fingerprints all over the place. I doubt Marti was given more to do than Doctor the script a bit, but I have no doubt that the more poignant and smooth parts of the movie are due to her.
In point of fact, I'd follow Marti anywhere (I even gave Private Practice a chance when she was there...ugh) including her upcoming Fright Night remake. Of course I'd look into that with or without her, considering the star is David freaking Tennant as a vampire, but still, glad she's getting some bigger budget projects. If they do a sequel to this, I say give her the writing reins.
Number Three: Aliens & Superpowers
Obviously this is a weak spot for me. A boy grows up on earth, but is in truth from another planet. During adolescence his body experiences some shocking changes, and then suddenly he has superpowers, which he decides weren't given to him just to be hidden. So he stands up for what he believes in, and fights his new, now-everpresent enemies.
So maybe the writers of the book weren't terribly original, and the best they could do was come up with alien names like Magadorians and Lorien (which, come to think of it, is one of Tolkien's names) but the territory is so familiar it's like reading an old favorite book when you're sick. And I don't care how often I see it, or how many people have it, but telekinesis will always be cool.
Number Four: Timothy Olyphant
Unfortunately, the movie lacks the proper amount of Olyphant time required in all films ever produced, giving him that unfortunate father-figure-death before the climax (when in the book it seems he survives until the final battle) but at least they were smart enough to cast him. Yes, they gave him some terrible lines. Yes, the things he knew and the mysteries he was researching were never even remotely elaborated on. Yes, Justified Season 2 ended last night and was awesome. And yes, I think about the possibility that there is a house in Ohio inhabited by Timothy Olyphant and Alex Pettyfer.
So all in all, no, not a great movie. But if you want some gorgeous people to look at (Dianna Agron is in it as well) and some equally pretty action scenes and you have an hour or two of life that you're looking to pass you by without being terribly significant, go on and get this DVD!
One more for the road: