Even the Rain
I Am Number Four
John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), a Loriens alien seeking refuge on planet Earth, has superpowers that he hasn’t learned to control yet. The Mogadorian aliens have already destroyed his race on his home planet, and have killed three Loriens on Earth, so John knows that he would be number four, the next Lorien to be killed. He moves with his guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), from Florida to the small town of Paradise, Ohio where he assumes a new identity and enrolls in the local high school before Henri makes sure to erase all photos of him on the internet. Good luck trying not to roll your eyes when John befriends and defends a geek, Sam (Callan McAuliffe), develops a romance with a Sarah (Dianna Agron), a sexy girl who’s passionate about photography, and must deal with a cocky jock, Mark (Jake Abel), who competes with him for Sarah’s affection. A total of three screenwriters, namely, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and Marti Noxon, wrote the screenplay and it feels that way because I Am Number Four tries to be a teen romance, drama and sci-fi action thriller all at once, but ends up being neither diverting, suspenseful or engrossing. The plot doesn’t even have internal logic. If you haven’t read the novel, chances are that you’ll be confused throughout most of the film, especially during the later part of the second act when something unexpected happens to John’s dog which will most likely cause you to laugh unintentionally.
Alex Pettyfer gives such a bland performance as the lead role that he turns John Smith into a charmless, boring character thereby making it difficult to grasp what Sarah sees in him to begin with. Some audience members might be able to forgive the corny, implausible romance between John and Sarah, but even when the film kicks its action into full gear, there’s nothing to really hold your interest beyond the nifty CGI effects. Here’s hoping that there won’t be a sequel. At a running time of 1 hour and 49 minutes, I Am Number Four suffers from so much style over substance, lack of internal logic, contrived subplots and wooden performances that it makes Twilight look like Gone with the Wind.
The Last Lions
Now & Later
Audiences looking for lots of nudity and sex will be pleased by those unflinchingly graphic scenes, but probably will feel bored by the seemingly tacked-on sociopolitical messages. Conversely, those looking for political messages or an engaging drama/romance will find the sex scenes to be merely distracting from the larger, more important issues that the film lazily dodges. Shari Solanis indeed looks sexy which helps you to see why Bill feels so attracted to her, but she gives a mediocre performance at best while James Wortham pretty much sleepwalks through his role as Bill without the requisite charisma or acting abilities to make his character believable or even remotely engaging. At a running time of 1 hour and 37 minutes, Now & Later is essentially a lazy porno with an dull plot, poor performances and tacked-on, underexplored sociopolitical messages.
We Are What We Are