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« Expecto Linkonus| Main| Box Office: Dark of the Horrible Zookeeper's Moon »
Monday
Jul 11 2011

I Am Number Four's Power Apps

Have any of you seenI Am Number Four?In a brain dead mood -- it's summer,it happens -- it was watched right here.At first I thought I might write up a whole review.Its jumbled five or six films in one chaos might be worth savaging as it continually reveals itself as a member of the  "we're making this shit up as we go along!"school of storytelling.Pettyfer is number four of a race of escapee aliens who are being hunted on Earth by their old nemesis and they're being killed in numerical order.I'll give you one guess as to how many of them are already dead.

Number three is dead.

Good guess!

I knew nothing aboutI Am Number Four's origins but immediately assumed it was based on a comic or graphic novel due to its continual expository mythology.All this for one stand alone feature?It must have fuller origins elsewhere.

But in the end the movie is too disposable and harmless to be mean to.So let's just focus on the troublesome pet peeve: Alex Pettyfer's Magic Hands.

Pettyfer knows he's an alien and he knows he's number four but he doesn't actually understand his own powers yet and strange things keep happening to his body,like pulsing blue light from his hands.Pettyfer is a bit too,um,well-developed forI Am Number Fourto double property as a puberty metaphor but it seems to be trying anyway.Once he starts using those hands his powers seem limitless.His hands are always ready with some solution: lock-picking,energy blasts,heat generation,super strength,you name it.At one point when he just decides to use them as flashlights in a dark room where key exposition secrets are hidden we had to add our own dialogue from the couch: "I've got an app for that,too!"

There's just nothing those mitts can't do.

Note to all filmmakers of this andGreen Lanternand anyone taking on any future heroes with undefined powers: it doesn't work.If your hero's gifts are never defined there are no stakes.You can't push them to their limits for a dramatic climax if you've never given any indication that they have any.Think it over.

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Reader Comments (8)

It's based on a relatively new teen read,the first in a forthcoming series,I believe.The author is actually James Frey of the Oprah/Million Little Pieces debacle,though he published under the name "Pittacus Lore".

July 11,2011 | Unregistered CommenterHolly French

I figured it had to be.thanks.

July 11,2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I work at my city's library and got to sit in on this for a Teen Summer Reading Movie Night dealio.In fact,I chose to sit in on this one because the other options were Beastly,The Forbidden Kingdom,and Prince of Persia;I'm a big fan of Olyphant and thought it might be fun.I was right,kind of.I'm not going to go out and buy this on DVD or anything,but it definitely works as a "brain dead mood"type of film.

Okay,I'll say this much: I enjoyed it more than I enjoyed Doug Liman's Jumper (which I had to watch for the Teen Summer Reading program a few years back).

Next week,on the other hand,I get to sit in on Mary Poppins!Yup,gettin' paid to do that.

July 11,2011 | Unregistered CommenterDevin D

Saw it the day it came out in theaters.Utterly pointless in every way possible.The only thing I liked about it was Teresa Palmer (Number Six) and I don't think her acting had anything to do with it.

July 11,2011 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Armour

I read the book back when it came out.It was getting some good buzz at the time (James Frey was going on and on about how much Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg liked the book and wanted to turn it into a movie,so I figured I'd check it out).It wasn't great literature,but a good "put your brain on hold"kind of book.The movie was pretty much the same except the background was explained better in the book.The next book is coming out soon and is called "The Power of Six,"so Teresa Palmer's character (Number Six) comes to the forefront.The movie didn't do very well though,so I don't think a sequel will be coming.I didn't care for the movie much,so I don't think I'll be crying about it.haha.

July 11,2011 | Unregistered CommenterBK

The film is sort of pointless,but harmless too.For some reason I feel that Pettyfyer is not completely unsalvageable.I have no significant reasons to back this up.

July 12,2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Andrew -- well,if his acting can get anywhere near as sharp as his cheekbones a bright future awaits.But that's a big gap thus far.

July 12,2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The movie was pretty much the same except thebuy runescape goldwas explained better in the book.

July 12,2011 | Unregistered Commentersinreal
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