By: Henry J. Fromage (Four Beers) –
There seems to be a growing trend novels about teenage girls lusting after things that should kill them.This is no surprise considering the massive success of the Twilight series.With the movies coming to a close, the hunt is on for its replacement.I Am Number Four is certainly not a carbon copy, and is thankfully not as vapid, but the idea’s the same.Expect more, with a corresponding drop in quality as producers scour the earth for similar properties.
There was something dark and dangerous about Colyn Hugasaurus that Katie just couldn’t resist.What was his secret, and more importantly, what did he look like with his shirt off?
John Smith is on the run, and from another planet to boot.He must contend with his mysterious new powers and a growing romance with a local girl all while adjusting to a new school and working with his Guardian to fend off evil forces trying to kill him.
As terrible as that sounds, this one has quite a bit going for it.The Guardian is played by the always welcome Timothy Olyphant, who channels his inner Billy Bob Thornton intoa role with some pretty decent one-liners.
In fact, the dialogue is quite a bit better than it should be.There’s plenty of schmaltz at times, but it’s studded with some gems like “(He is) soon to be irrelevant.He’s in the third of best four years of his life.”
The soundtrack is full of indy hits and when a fellow alien with powers shows up, the action and cool effects really start to take off.The aliens that are hunting them are plenty badass looking and even mix in a dash of humor, even if they are led by Strong Bad.
The main weakness of the film is the portion of the plot aimed at the Twilight crowd.What I don’t get is what is so attractive about vampires/werewolves/aliens anyway.You’d think there would be some physical/moral qualms about the whole interspecies thing, completely ignoring the fact that they want to kill you.
Aside from that, I know that romantic subplots come with the territory, but this one in particular piles on the corn like an Iowa combine.Kill your wince when they finally declare their feelings with a hearty slug of beer.
You’ll also want to drink a bit to the conceit that most movies of this ilk have.I don’t know any universe where the surfer guy with rippling abs or the perky cheerleader blonde are ever social outcasts.It’s kinda hard to feel their pain.
This one is for the naivety of the producers of this film.It ends with a clear promise of a sequel (although thankfully not a cliff-hanger) that will have more world-saving suspense and action.
Lesser known teen literature never does that well as movies (Percy Jackson, Spiderwick Chronicles, Golden Compass, etc.) and preliminary box office returns show that a sequel here is wishful thinking.So basically, they could have slimmed down the weakest part (cheesy, unrelated to action romance) and filled that time with what they actually did well (cool powers and shit blowin’ up).We got a weaker movie because of unrealistic sequel chasing, and that’s just tragic.
There are worse diversions and the action is pretty cool.If your date drags you to this one, it is at least survivable.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time a body part lights up
Take a Drink: whenever someone runs away from a threat
Drink a Shot: when feelings are discussed awkwardly