Tuesday, 22 February 2011

I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four has so far done a bang-up job of failing to make itself known to the general public to the point where a straw poll conducted exclusively for The Incredible Suit revealed that out of two conveniently-passing people, neither had heard of it. Extrapolate those figures and it soon becomes clear that the entire population of the universe is blissfully unaware of the film's very existence.

For the benefit of everyone then, here's the plot in a nutshell:
Why they're trying to kill each other is unclear. What is clear, thanks to some hackneyed character signposting, is which are the good aliens (conventionally good-looking humanoids) and which are the bad aliens (conventionally hideous humanoids with long black coats, tattooed heads, red eyes and pointy teeth. Think bald Gary Busey).

Cuboid-headed charisma vacuum Alex Pettyfer plays Number Four, the good alien, who uses his alien powers to suck all of the film's fun into a black hole where his personality should be. Pettyfer's remarkable talent and range can be demonstrated by this tired old visual gag:
You may remember Pettyfer from Alex Rider: Stormbreaker, a teen-targeted potential franchise which stalled after just one film. Only time will tell if his presence here causes the same fate to befall this teen-targeted potential franchise (Crazy prediction: It will).

As Number Four is the most hunted alien in the galaxy he does his best to stay hidden by going to school in broad daylight every day, rather than staying at home and playing with all the product placement provided by Apple. At school he meets a series of stereotypes, one of whom (clue: not the jock or the nerd) he falls in love with despite the fact that she's a) the world's least convincing photographer and b) intent on using up the world's supply of question marks in her text messages.
Eventually there's some fighting and shooting and an unintentionally hilarious CGI dog which probably shouldn't remind you of The Mask, but none of it approaches anything that could be described as original or interesting.

I could go on and on but that's the film's job. Basically if you enjoy films in which Timothy Olyphant is the best thing, then not only is I Am Number Four for you but you also need to watch a lot more films.


  1. I can confirm I'd never heard of this film prior to this post. After reading the post, I am now unconvinced whether I should thank you for bringing it to my attention or not.

  2. I thought maybe I had heard of it, but then I think I was thinking of The Prisoner. Bald Gary Busey! That sure would scare the bejesus out of me!

  3. One of the most idiotic reviews I´ve ever read in my life!

  4. Is The Incredible Scoop Suit on a mission to prove that 2011 is a worse year for films than 2010 which was by his analysis the worst ever?

    What is Four for in the fore?

    Are you nominating Alex Pettfyer for the Forestry Commission wooden actor of the year award? (most famous winner Sir Roger Moore)

    The instant identity of baddies and goodies is a convention that goes right back to the silent era and Charlie Chaplin or the Westerns with cowboys in black hats or white hats.

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  6. I adore Mr Olywobbles, and nothing you say shall stop me

  7. "I could go on and on but that's the film's job." is the best line I've read today. Nice one!

  8. The Pettyfer visual gag is funny but many a true word is spoken in jest. Around 1920 the Soviet Filmmaker Lev Kuleshov conducted a famous experiment which showed the filmmaker's ability to alter the audience’s perception of reality with editing.

    What he did was to put together a variety of contrasting scenes, happy, sad, terror etc. and cut away between each to see the reaction of an actor to these images. In reality, like the Pettyfer example the same reaction shot was shown each time but the audience saw horror, pity, laughter etc in the face of the actor. The audience members project their feelings on the actor and see what they expect to see.

    Hats off to Sir Roger Moore then. In film less is more.