Run-of-the-mill sci-fi

2011-03-28 00:00

ALEX Pettyfer (Storm Breaker) is number four. One of nine — or rather number four of nine — alien children saved from a planet that was destroyed by ruthless enemies. He is constantly on the run, trying to hide from the Mogadorians determined to kill all nine. When his powers start to develop and he falls in love, he decides not to run any more, despite the fact that the Mogadorians are very close to finding him.

Its peculiar title belies a typical story. I Am Number Four is a hero’s journey, one we have seen many times before.

Its producer is Michael Bay, the man behind hits such as Pearl Harbour and Transformers, which should be indicative of the scale of effects, explosions and action of this film.

This sci-fi action thriller is good film-making, but when good has been done many times before in this genre, good becomes mediocre — and that’s what I Am Number Four is.

The storyline is very clearly targeted at the teenage demographic. (It’s adapted from a children’s book). That being said — its PG 13 rating is not without merit — some parts are frightening.

The progression and pace of the film leave no doubt that it is merely the first in a series still to come. It takes its time and feels every minute as long as it is.

I Am Number Four has a modern sound track, a ridiculously good-looking cast, aliens, superpowers, explosions, violence and a little bit of love thrown in — it’s got all the ingredients for a blockbuster. It’s commercialised entertainment at its best, except it is pulled down by being unoriginal. ***

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