I Am Number Four

The sci-fi-teen romance I Am Number Four is witless, insultingly derivative, muddy-looking, and edited in the hammering epileptic style that marks so many films produced, as this one is, by Michael Bay. And for all that, the movie is just, you know, ordinary, harmless — a wiki-built movie engineered to unspool and vanish from memory even before you check your smartphone. Indeed, it?s a wiki-built movie adapted from a wiki-built young-adult novel written by the pseudonymous Pittacus Lore, nom-de-fiction-factory of compromised memoirist James Frey and his hired wordsmith Jobie Hughes.

Google deep enough and you may find that the whole enterprise is the programmed work of Watson the Jeopardy!-winning computer.

Who is Number Four? The numerically-named fellow (every single character might as well take a number, so blandly interchangeable are they) is a Cute New Guy (former model Alex Pettyfer) who pulls into Smallville Forks Paradise, Ohio with his father-substitute/guardian (Timothy Olyphant) and enrolls in the local high school. There, it becomes clear that the CNG is Superman a vampire an endangered stranger with special powers from another planet. Four — his street handle is John Smith — falls in love with Lois Lane Bella Swan the school?s good girl/artsy photographer (Glee?s Dianna Agron). But that?s a problem, because he?s being hunted by CGI monsters, aliens with bad teeth, and the school?s bullying quarterback. So Four runs a lot, and fights, and uses his special powers and so forth.

At the end, Four is on the road again, leaving open the possibility of another installment. Press the Empty Trash button now. D-

I Am Number Four
  • Movie