I AM NUMBER FOUR was released a few months ago in hopes of becoming the start of a new franchise. When the book was first released (Which I read), it was marketed as the "Next Harry Potter," which was my first turn off. It was generating a lot of hype weeks prior to release, and it was already in production a week before it hit shelves- I didn't appreciate all the commercialization that was put into this book, especially since it is so obviously devoted to formula. Nevertheless, I read it and though it was okay, because who can argue with chemistry. I knew, however (and my expectations are usually right) that this movie would flop.
D.J. Caruso, director of DISTURBIA, obviously knows how to hold a camera. Alex Pettyfer knows how to work a six- pack, and Teresa Palmer is apparently a scene- stealing action star. This movie is a good example of taking film for granted. Back in the time of our great-grandaddys, films only got made if they were good. Now, becoming a part of everyday lifestyle, get made for no better reason then they'll make money, and to no improvement in style except for the renovations modern technology give to us. Yes, the special effects here are very impressive as are the action sequences (thanks to the careful guidance of TRANSFORMERS director Michael Bay and executive producer of the film) but apparently that is what passes as film these days because they failed when presenting a successful literary adaption as well as producing a proper story. The story was a problem to begin with- most of the book focuses on the alien-human romance between John and Sarah, but there's no drama to that relationship (besides the I-can't-date-you-because-it's-too-dangerous-drama) and no sustenance to the story. Nothing happens until the very end, and even that's pretty much a let-down. Besides special effects, I did notice the sound mixing was pretty well done, but then again, who goes to see a film just to see how it sounds?
I have to say, most of this film was rested on the shoulders of the young cast, but none of them are all that good. Pettyfer and Palmer are both way to laughably British to be believable, and even then the dialogue their left to work with is nothing special. The characterizations are a bit drawling- these are reasons I don't appreciate modern technology in film. It makes film makers think they don't have to produce a proper storyline or proper characters. There is a great possibility that the next few installments will contain deeper storylines (and you know that there will be more adaptions) and hopefully, if the next few films are placed in the right hands, it could succeed as a watchable film. If the young actors get better, then that's another plus.
Basically, this movie is a crowd pleaser for most teenagers. It seems to be like TWILIGHT, except also aiming towards a male demographic, which I give points for the attempt. I'll watch the next few films closely to see if they improve, but right now, I AM NUMBER FOUR is a mostly lukewarm piece of film.