I am Number Four- movie review

It was in theater 2 and I still remember vividly the last time I went in that particular theater. I was with my mom and two of her sisters when we went to see Harry Potter last November. Then of course, they had to go and say “let’s hope nobody tall sits in front of us” and that’s exactly what happened maybe into the third preview.  Dumb and Dumber behind us were sniggering and nearly falling out of their chairs when it happened to me. Kinda ruined the preview for “Red Riding Hood,” which I’d seen a couple times already (today included).

My mom and I moved a couple seats over to get away from tall guy and the rest was smooth sailing.
Word also happens to be the incident was repeated but with even more hilarious results. My parents, one aunt & her boyfriend and another aunt & her husband went to see “Rain” in New York. They said it was an amazing show that really took you through the Beatles journey, also that the actor who played Paul was excellent.
So they’re a few songs in and a tall guy sits in front of my aunt. My mom and other aunt were laughing so hard that they nearly fell out of their seats. So my aunt and the boyfriend, who were sitting in front of one another, decided to switch seats by crossing over the chairs rather than going around…. well, the two butted heads when coming across and that resulted in my mom and aunt on the floor laughing hysterically…

Sometimes movie experiences boil down to the people you go with. You’re all experiencing the same thing (the movie) but you enjoy it in different ways. I couldn’t help but think about when I went to see “Due Date” and the only other people there were a boyfriend and girlfriend around my age. The boyfriend said to me “at least you’re not by yourself”… they laughed once or twice, but maybe they were making out the whole time. I was too focused on the insanity of Zach Galifianakis to pay attention to them.

So I’m back in theater 2… I’m gotten completely comfortable in my seat, chilling with my iPod… a tall guy sits in front of me and into the 2nd preview, I decided to shift one seat over so I could see… no biggie, but sheesh, three times the charm, I guess.

I was extremely disappointed about the movie previews, though. It’s often said that people sometimes go to the movies just to see the trailers because they look a lot better than the actual movie. I counted a total of five previews and none of them were really pulling me to return to see their respected films.

The first one was called “Source Code” and it stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan (who has played opposite of RDJ in both “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” and “Due Date”… as well as Eagle Eye with Shia LaBeouf)… actually, this movie kinda felt like Eagle Eye, now that I think about it. There’s some kind of sci-fi context that really doesn’t make all that much sense, but I’ll try to keep up.
The movie starts with Jake and Michelle talking on a train. She calls him by a name and he says that isn’t his name. The train crashes, during which he sees a different person’s face in a mirror. Supposedly he’s an anti-terrorist agent and he takes the form of a person involved in an accident 8 minutes before their death. His job is to determine who is the bomber so the overall accident can be prevented. Naturally he falls for Michelle’s character along the way and that kinda complicates things.
My guess: she’s the terrorist… I could be wrong, but its not enough to get me excited.

The next one was simply called “Prom.” Nickelodeon is the studio, but it has somewhat of the feel of either Valentine’s Day or the Sisterhood of the Pants… there are four couples that the story revolves around, or rather stories… and one of them kinda reminds me of a younger John Cusak (via “Say Anything”) because his storyline is to ask this one girl to prom, but he doesn’t know how… hilarity ensues. None of them are familiar faces to the point I’d like to go to the theater to see it… I guess if I was a teenager, I’d get into it.

Third up was “Red Riding Hood,” which I’m still considering, but after this last movie, I’m not 100% on that. It’s directed by Catherine Hardwick of “Twilight” fame so it has the same look, but it might be a little on the horror movie side of things… perhaps closer to Wolfman than Scream… still looks pretty good and its hard to say no to Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried.

Hugh Jackman is in another movie called “Real Steel” where he plays a boxer, or at least that’s what he used to be. Then he developed technology where people could control robots that do the fighting for you. The effects look really good for the robots (kinda like the way the transformers robots looked) and I found myself wanting to say “rock ’em sock ’em robots”… that’d be a hilarious movie.
Then last but not least (well, maybe least) is that movie “Battle: Los Angeles” which is about aliens invading Earth to colonize it… the effects look really good, but I don’t know. I’m not into that whole shtick and its gotta be a little terrifying.

 

At least, we arrive at the actual movie.

It opens in the middle of jungle and its during nighttime so you really can’t see too much. Ultimately you see this guy get attacked and killed by these monsters. He was #3.

We go to a scene at the beach with our hero, Number Four, otherwise known as Alex Pettyfer, our newest “import”. He’s partying with some people and he goes into the ocean to meet a girl that texts him. We get the whole “Jaws” vibe with the underwater visuals and the whole drowning thing, but he doesn’t get attacked by a shark… part of his leg starts glowing and he sees stuff underwater, which is ultimately the death of #3.

Cue the opening credits. #4 has a protector (as do all of the numbered E.T’s) that erases traces that they were ever living that particular place. Through narrative, #4 explains the whole plot. He is one of 9 warriors that were meant to protect his race from another alien race that colonizes planets. It isn’t talked about in the movie, but there was a charm placed on the warriors so they could only be killed in order. He goes on to explain he got a scare each time one of the warriors got killed (which explains the glowing on his leg)…

#4 forges documents and against his protector’s judgement, he goes to school in a new town called Paradise Valley, Ohio (which is ironic because it rains when they arrive).
Just before he left the other place, you see this little green lizard that eventually stows away with his belongings. A scene later, you see it leave the truck and shapeshift into a Beagle. #4 adopts the beagle because it has no tags.
Of course, we’re all wondering if the beagle is good or bad… luckily, it turns out to be good.

At the school, #4 meets his eventual love interest Sara (played by Dianna Agron who plays Quinn on Glee) and science nerd Sam. He also meets a couple of jocks, their leader being Jake Abel, the villian in Percy Jackson. Here he kinda plays a jerk, mainly because of his status and because he and Sara used to date… that whole protectiveness thing is going on.
Sara’s an interesting person, gotta love her character. She’s a photographer and she has a website where she eventually uploads some pictures of #4, who goes by the name John Smith at school… his protector then goes ahead and takes the pictures off the Internet to keep the other aliens off their trail.

At one point, #4’s hands start glowing and his protector explains that he is getting his powers, which include illuminating hands and telekinesis, which is ultimately moviing and stopping things… plus he has superhuman strength.

He and Sara get close throughout the whole movie and its kind of a cute romance. He goes with her to a carnival and they go to a haunted hayride… its one of a couple scenes I found a little unnerving. After getting off the ride, they go through a tunnel with thunder/lightning sound effects and guys with chainsaws… for a split second, it felt like being in a horror movie, but it was all for show.
Then four guys in hoodies jump the couple. Under the impression that they’re the aliens that have been after him, he beats them all to a pulp. Turns out that they were the jocks and the main guy wanted to talk to Sara. #4 fights him and nearly breaks his arm when he has him pinned down.

This gets him into a little trouble, especially when the town sheriff (the jock’s dad) comes to the house asking questions.

There’s another part of the story that eventually involves Sam. His dad studied UFO’s and such and at one point he disappeared. They discover later on that he was helping #4’s alien race, so that starts that alliance.
Throughout the whole movie, we catch glimpses of #6, who has even more kick-ass powers but we don’t see her in action until the last 20 minutes of the movie.

The climax occurs when the aliens finally find #4. He and Sara go to the school where he eventually explains who he is. There they meet #6, who not only knows how to destroy the aliens, but she can vaporize and teleport herself to evade attacks or make them. She’s also really good with weaponry and happens to be fireproof.
The aliens also have three monsters that, until the end, they’ve kept in a large truck. They’re really hideous looking, like a cross between ghouls and bats, but their wings spread out like the skin flaps of a sugarglider. Really creepy looking. Also here we find out that the beagle is a chimera, which also serves to protect #4. It takes out at least two of the giant monster things when it transforms into this big hideous wolf thing.

The action is really intense in some points, so I’m just glad it wasn’t in 3D. That would have proven to be too much. Overall, I’d give the movie a B because it does everything right as far as the story and characters go.
I’d recommend it to anyone who’s into action and weaponry and sci-fi. But you have to be able to keep up with the technical aspects and not get too concerned with things that don’t entirely make sense. In other words, don’t be like Roger Ebert who really doesn’t give anything with fantastical elements a chance because you have to think about them for them to make any sense. You gotta be a little open-minded about it, is what I’m saying.

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