Digital Monkey Shines

Movies, Games and Other Diversions

Majestic Preview: I Am Number Four

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It’s right up against the first showing, so you Thursday night folks might miss out on today’s preview.

This week at the Majestic Theater is…

I Am Number Four

(Rated PG-13)

If you know much about my personal film preferences, you might wonder, “why in the world is he writing about this movie?”

Let me enlighten you.

I watch a lot of movies and I take a fair amount of care to select things I’m bound to enjoy and/or from which I will learn something new.  Nonetheless, I do believe that almost every film ever made has something that justifies it.  Sometimes, it may be something as transient as an accidentally well-composed frame of New Jersey industrialia like what one would see in Sandy Hook Lingerie Party Massacre.  Not that I have ever seen Sandy Hook Lingerie Party Massacre.  You’ll never get me to admit it.

I Am Number Four is not a film targeted at my demographic.  If you fancy yourself a sophisticated viewer of movies, you’re bound to find the plot predictable, the stereotypes of high schoolers tired, and the action not very engaging.  As Timothy Olyphant is the biggest actor attached to the project, there are not any high-value marquee actors to watch at work.  So what does I Am Number Four offer?

The story is, in its largest strokes, similar to the Twilight films.  We have an alien from an advanced race hiding out on earth played by Alex Pettyfer (also in the recently released Beastly).  He is being chased by another alien race with gills on their noses, bad head tattooery, and trench coats.  Naturally, he chooses to hide out in a local high school where he can brood, have trouble avoiding fights with the local bully (Jack Abel, Percy Jackson), and make doe eyes at the arty girl (Dianna Agron, Glee).  Also on his trail is another of his race, a tough gal numbered Six (Theresa Palmer, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice).

Your intrepid author even attempted to read some of the source material for this movie, the book book of the same name.  I gave up thirty pages in, but I can honestly say the movie improves the experience.  It is competently made, sufficiently performed, and the special effects look as if proper care was taken.

It’s easy to lament the multi-plex model of film distribution, which seems to have reduced the film-going public to a single teen-aged demographic and given us a stream of screeching banshee films for short-attention spans.  At least a film like I Am Number Four doesn’t pretend to reach for every audience.  I can see that it should work well for its teen-aged fans, and I shouldn’t begrudge it.  If you like a little science fiction and action, go see it, even if you need to leave your expectations at the door.

See Also

The presence of Jack Abel wasn’t the only thing about I Am Number Four that reminded me of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.  It’s another juvenile/young adult film that could be considered a bit underrated.

Twilight, duh.

I cannot recommend highly enough Easy A, which knows more about the social life of teenagers than all of the Twilight-grade high school fantasies put together.

Written by Bill

March 25, 2011 at 12:21 am

Posted in Movies

Tagged with ,

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