x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

I Am Number Four

The first in a planned series of six films, I Am Number Four wants to be Twilight with aliens instead of vampires, but has little heart.

Dianna Agron and Alex Pettyfer star in I Am Number Four.
Dianna Agron and Alex Pettyfer star in I Am Number Four.

I Am Number Four
Director: DJ Caruso
Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant and Dianna Agron

Commercially avaricious and intellectually inane, there is nonetheless enough storytelling muscle in the (big breath!) would-be romantic sci-fi teen franchise I Am Number Four (think Twilight, but with handsome aliens instead of handsome vampires) to pull the viewer through to the extremely open ending. Here, as the closing credits roll, and as we face five more movies in a full series of six, the ready-made franchise announces its intention to tell the ongoing story of some supernaturally gifted aliens with model looks and quirky powers (they can generate force-fields, they can disappear) who are trapped on earth and being hunted by a fierce über-race of space fascists called The Mogadorians. Thus, as we open I Am Number Four we learn that three out of the remaining nine aliens have already been killed, and that the eponymous Four (Pettyfer - Brad Pitt looks with mahogany-style acting ability) is next. The movie then follows Number Four's attempt to hide in the tiny Ohio town of Paradise, to blend in at the local high school and to use his superpowers only when saving the life of his new girlfriend Sarah (Agron). Naturally the Mogadorians, who are essentially giant clod-footed humanoids in trench-coats (like Battlefield Earth rejects), soon track down our heroes and the stage is set for a noisy effects-filled school-smashing finale that clearly comes courtesy of the producer Michael Bay (Transformers). Despite all the talk - specifically from Four and Sarah - about romantic love and everlasting affection, there is little heart here. But just enough dazzle to distract.

For screening information, visit www.grandcinemas.com, www.cineroyal.ae, www.cinestarcinemas.com, www.reelcinemas.ae