Movie Title: I Am Number Four
Director: D.J. Caruso
Actor(s): Alex Petyffer, Timothy Olyphant
Subtitles: English (when needed)
Rated: PG-13 (violence, language)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Run Time: 109 mins
DVD Release Date: n/a
My Rating: ***** (3 out of 5 stars)
**The following review/rant may contain spoilers.**
I'm going to try keeping this update/review brief since I already reviewed the book version of I Am Number Four a few posts ago in which this movie is based upon. I'll break it down quite easily. For those people who have not read the book and only plan to watch the movie, you will most likely enjoy it. For the rest of us who have read the book and had high hopes that the film version would be just as good if not better, like I, you will be somewhat disappointed and have a WTF moment or two.
First I will start with the good points. The movie had great special effects, a surprisingly good soundtrack, nicely picked actors that did the book characters justice, and for about half the movie, followed the novel extremely well.
It was only in the last 45 minutes of the film that things fell apart. And again, the following points I mention will be spoilers so you are being forewarned.
1) No training.
In the book, Henri teaches and pushes John to practice his skills once he begins to receive his "legacies" or powers. This goes on for quite a few chapters and is important since it slowly reveals what he is capable of. No such thing happens in the movie. In the beginning we see his hands light up and by the end of the movie...we see his hands light up. Yes yes, I know we see John stop a car and levitate a Mogadorion. But he can do much more which we never get to see.
2) Wrong time to die.
In the book someone dies and it doesn't happen until near the end. In the movie, this person is killed off way before the ending. That was right around the time I began to lose faith in this movie because the timing of that person's death is crucial to other events that are supposed to happen.
3) Time to develop film? WTF!
In the book, John and Sarah go to a party that is being held by her jealous ex-boyfriend Mark. A fire breaks out and John saves Sarah's life, resulting in her finding out who he really is. In the movie, John goes to find Sarah at the party to say goodbye since he now knows that the Mogadorians are literally in town and have picked up his scent. There is no fire, but he does end of saving her life because of another incident at the house, therefore revealing he is not as he seems. John tells her he has to go but she says almost frantically, "John, I need to show you something! Please, come with me right now!" I was thinking maybe she knew a place for him to hide or had to show him a vital piece of information that could help him. But how horribly wrong I was. The next scene is them sneaking into the high school after hours, going into a dark room and...develop photos. Yes, you read that right. The Mogadorians are in town, hunting you down and yet you have time to DEVELOP PHOTOGRAPHS?? Whoever wrote that into the script must be out of their mind.
4) The box.
At that point I was pretty much disgusted. But I think what bothered me the most was the box issue. In the book, Henri has this box that goes with them whenever they move and he makes sure it is well hidden once they are moved in. This box is special because it not only is from their planet Lorien, but it only can be opened a special kind of way and only when John starts to receive his "legacies". The things in this box are intended to help him in his training, to help him make sense of what happened so many years ago to his planet among other things. Once Henri and John realize the Mogadorians are in town, the box travels with them, even during the big show down at the school. In the beginning of the movie, they make a big deal to show the box and how Henri hides it once they move into their new home. You don't see the box again until right before the credits roll at the end. WTF. Oh and did I forget to mention that inside the box is a healing stone that also plays an important role towards the end of the book but never is explored in the movie?
I gave this movie a 3 out of 5 stars because I figured out the issue. It's not the directing, or the special effects, or the acting-- all expectations were met in those departments. What failed miserably was the script. It's almost like the writer fell asleep and missed a few points but those few points just so happened to be the most IMPORTANT.
I guess I will just have to be satisfied with the upcoming sequel of I Am Number Four called The Power of Six which will be released in August '11.