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2011 | Dream works Pictures | Science fiction & Fantasy
Science fiction is proving to be extremely popular, especially in the film making industry. This is why my choice of film for this project is the movie I am Number Four. In addition, despite the fact that Sci-fi is a part of my course units, it is also the area that seems to thrill the audience. I am Number Four talks about nine alien children who were brought to Earth under the protection of guardians to escape the massacre in their home planet. Once here, the children were brought up in different parts of the world, although the movie limits up to only viewing three of these children. The movie begins in an African jungle, where number 3 and his guardian are hiding. The Mogadorians track them down, and after killing number three’s protector, they chase him into the jungle and kill him as well. This dramatic beginning creates so much suspense that one cannot help but anticipate the next scene (Cornea 29).
The movie is mainly a story about John Smith, who is a 15-year-old teenager from the planet Lorien. He and eight other teens are members of the Garde, who represent Loric people gifted with legacies. They were sent to planet Earth to hide so that they would survive and one-day return home to guard it and save it from its enemies. All the nine teens are assigned Cephans, who act as guardians and mentors. Before being sent to Earth, a spell to protect the nine was cast. According to spell, the nine could only be killed in numerical, chronological order. This would make it difficult for the Mogadorians, an enemy alien race, to hunt them. The first three are already dead, and now it is number four’s turn. John lives like a fugitive, constantly on the run from ruthless enemies who desire to kill him for his powers.
When the movie starts, number four is living under the alias of Daniel Jones, and he lives in Florida. He is on the beach with his friends having fun like any ordinary teenager. Every time one of the nine is killed, the other remaining ones get a circular scar around the right leg just above the ankle. Thus, when Daniel was on the beach swimming, he gets his third scar in the presence of his friends. In the movie, this is represented by a bright light emancipating from the water. One of the kids captures the entire thing on camera and posts it online. This necessitates them to move out of Florida to escape, because the publicity would give away his position to the Mogadorians. Thus, he and his guardian erase all evidence of their existence in Florida and escape to Paradise, Ohio, under new aliases, where Daniel acquires the name John Smith (Cornea 200).
To fit in with the people, John starts attending a local high school. While there, he meets and falls in love with Sarah Hart (Dianah Agron). Unfortunately, her ex-boyfriend, Mark James, is not too happy about this and he begins to pick on John. This sparks a confrontation where John stands up to him; however, this draws attention to him. He also makes a new friend, Sam Goode, who fortunately for him believes in aliens. This is an ordinary high school setting where the new kid hooks up with the football captain’s ex-girlfriend, and hence has to face his wrath and that of his teammates. Henri, his cephan, is mad at him, and we see them arguing constantly about John being too careless and attracting too much attention. When Henri suggests that they need to move again, John refuses and claims that he is tired of constantly moving, and he continues to attend classes as usual.
During an astronomy class, John’s hands begin to glow. He quickly rushes out of class and Henri explains to him that it was his first legacy that was developing. Legacies are powers that the nine aliens posses. Here, Henri takes time to explain in length how the Mogadorians had attacked his home in Lorien, and only him and the other eight had survived. They all had legacies and were referred to as Lorics. Each of these Lorics had different sets of legacies, although they were all connected and had telekinetic powers. In addition, both Henri and John have a loric chest that can only be opened by them together; although in case of Henri’s death, John could still be able to open it. The chest contains several artifacts, all of which are aimed at helping John in his quest. Henri begins training John to use and control his legacies (Stanley 100).
Sam is the first one to realize that John was not ordinary. This happened during a party where Mark and his friends tried to scare John off, but he chased after them and fought them all off single-handedly. Soon after, Henri travels to Athens in search of a publisher whose magazine had covered a story on Mogadorians. However, he realized that it was a trap intended to lure him from his hiding place so that the Mogadorians could easily locate John. Upon realizing this, John asks Sam for help, and since he has a truck, they could use it to drive them to Athens. They find Henri locked up in the basement of the magazine publisher under the instruction of the Mogadorians’ scouts. Once there, they save Henri, and they are able to fight and defeat the Mogadorian scouts. When the Mogadorians realize that they had escaped, they are enraged, and they kill both the publisher and his partner. This shows how ruthless they were and their commitment to finding all the nine aliens.
Once they are all back home, Henri continues to train John. Mark and Sarah find out the truth during a party at Mark’s house. This happened when a fire starts and Sarah is trapped forcing John to use his power to save her. This again triggers a serious argument between him and Henri, but this does not last since the Mogadorians are on their way. They surround the school trapping John and Sarah inside; however, Henri arrives, and together with number six and John’s dog they manage to defeat the Mogadorians. In the battle that ensues, John discovers another legacy. This legacy gives him the power to communicate with animals. Henri is also killed in the battle after he is hit by an energy blast. The movie ends when John, number six and Sam begin a journey in search of the remaining Lorics. John and Sarah confess their love for each other, and they both vow to wait for each other.
I am Number Four is a science fiction movie that was developed in 2011. However, the movie is based on a novel that was written earlier. A lot of controversy has been raised regarding the movie. Critics claim that the movie is a poor reflection of the actual novel. They further claim that the movie is a cliché and it only gets riveting in the last 20 minutes of filming, where the battle between Number 4 and the Mongolians is happening, and number six arrives. However, those who like the movie claim that it is exciting, though short. The movie combines the genres of Sci-fi, action and thriller, and this makes it exceedingly appealing. In addition to this, movie is rated parental guide-13, since it does not involve sexually explicit scenes or extremely violent and ghastly scenes that would otherwise be uncomfortable to watch. The setting of the movie is mainly in the United States, namely Florida, where the story begins, and Ohio; although there are also a few minutes where the setting is in Africa, when Number 3 was being killed. Another good aspect about the movie is that it has astounding visuals; the battle in the end is also superb and tremendously entertaining. The evil Mogadorians are also designed well, and they look stylish with all the gills, tattooed bodies and baldheads. In addition, their weapons are advanced (Stanley 20).
The entire movie gives the impression that the original novel was just summarized and cramped together to form the movie that would fit the filming time of 90 minutes. There are several instances in the plot where the audience is left hanging. For instance, throughout the movie we never get to see the rest of the nine Lorics, which would add more volume to the film. In addition, a glimpse of the aliens’ battle before the nine were sent to Earth would have been a welcome inclusion (Cornea 15).
The characters in the movie are stereotyped. For instance, Alex Pettyfer is a cliché hero, in that he is good-looking and all-powerful, which makes him appealing to female viewers; however, I feel his acting lacked expression. In addition, it is not realistic that the fate of your world depends on your survival, yet you are ready to give all that up for a girl you barely know. Teresa Palmer, who I remember fondly from the movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, played a minor role in the last few minutes of the movie (Stanley 75). Her arrival added excitement and depth to the movie, leaving the audience craving to see more of her character than was offered. Her style and tough girl act were fun to watch.
Another underutilized talented actor is Timothy Olyphant, who is given the role of a baby sitter. According to the film, he is a warrior that supposed to guard the Luric. He is seen on few scenes in the background, which I consider a waste. I think that instead of spending so much time focusing on the life of a teenage boy in school, the film should have incorporated more action scenes that would make it more exciting. Callan McAuliffe is a cliché best friend to the hero of the movie. He is a geek who is picked on by mark, the bully in school and he ends up as John’s best friend. However, he plays his role perfectly. On the other side, Kevin Durand plays his role as an evil commander exceptionally well. His expressions are on point, and he exudes evilness in his acting. Finally, Diana Agron is the cliché nice, pretty girl who everyone adores. However, she executes her role quite well (Scarrat 50).
Some of the themes applied in the movie include death, loyalty, friendship and love. The theme of death seems to be the most prominent, since it is featured at the beginning and end of the movie. In addition, death is experienced all through the movie when the Mogadorians kill number 3, his guardian, the first two alien children, the publisher and his partner, and in the final battle. Love is also prominent in the movie as John and Sarah fall in love shortly after their meeting. Loyalty is evident where Henri has faithfully taken care of John since he came to Earth and he dies protecting him. Loyalty is also evident when Sam agrees to help John whole-heartedly and Sarah agrees to keep John’s secret. The Mogadorians are also extremely loyal to their cause, and they came to Earth purposely to find, pursue and kill the nine children.
The Delivery of the Movie
The story the movie is based on is quite good, in my opinion; however, I feel it lacks originality and it is a cliché. In addition, the movie leaves so many details unexplained, unlike the novel, which is more detailed. The movie feels too short and leaves the audience with many unanswered questions. For example, if the nine are so powerful, why do they have to hide? Why do they not come together and fight the Mogadorians? In addition, how can the Mogadorians be driving around America with a monster in the truck and never once are they caught by the authorities? All these are questions that come up in my mind every time I watch the film.
Science fiction films are usually fantasy and capture occurrences that would not happen in the real world. For example, throwing fire from the hands is not something that would happen in the real world. However, through science fiction, producers explore the possibilities of “what if” it was possible, how would the world change and respond to such people (Scarrat 100). The film uses a combination of both written text and electronic medium, depending on whether the audience prefers to read the novel or watch the movie. Although, the film is mainly a science fiction, writer somehow manages to incorporate romance in the film, giving it a sweet insightful ending.
I am going to be writing for Empire Magazine, which is one of the main mainstream Magazines in Britain that offers honest and blunt movie reviews. Although it is a magazine, with the help of the new technology, the articles are also published on their website, which makes it accessible to a larger audience. I chose to write about an upcoming release of the teen action science fiction film called I am Number Four. The movie was published in three studios namely, DreamWorks Pictures, Bay films and Reliance Big Entertainment, however, the novel was published in New York by Harper publishers. The projected budget for the film was estimated to be 50-60 million dollars and was released in theaters on February 18, 2011. Jim Page edited the movie using industrial light and magic. This helped in the development of visual effects, especially where the aliens were concerned.
The film was well received by the public, although it received several negative reviews. The chief complaint was that the movie left many unanswered questions. Analysts from the Empire Magazine stated that the movie was bland in the first half but improved in the other half.
I chose to write about this movie in this magazine because it would give me an avenue to present my views, especially about science fiction. Since the movie is a teen science fiction movie with PG rate 13, my target audience comprises of young people in the society. These are mainly high school and college students. It could also slightly extend to people slightly over 20 years and those who love science fiction movies.
My review will be modeled following the works of Barry McIlheney and Phil Thomas. This is because their approach towards any issue is not only blunt and honest, but also they make informed comments regarding the movies they review.
My message regarding the film is that audiences should go see this movie. The movie, though not in the top 10 list of the best movies, is good and entertaining. The movie gets better towards the end in the second half where it becomes an action flick, as opposed to a melodramatic teen romance movie. It is at this point that the movie rouses to life. In my opinion, based on the targeted audience who are teens, the movie is successful in achieving its objective, which is to make a sci-fi film aimed at teens.
The movie is displayed in a clear, specific, and understandable manner. In my opinion, the movie acts as the beginning of other better and greater movies, because if the directors wanted, they would produce part B of the movie and show the actual battle taking place. This would be extremely exciting as this battle in the movie is supposed to determine the Earth’s fate.
The message of the movie is also exceptionally clear. The movie is supposed to show an ongoing battle between good and evil. The Mogadorians are evil, and if they win the battle, they will destroy the Earth; the Lorians, on the other hand, represent the good side. In the beginning, Pittacus Lore talks of preparing for a battle. The movie is simply good versus evil, and in the end, good seems to prevail.
Finally, the genre of the movie is mixed; this is because it is an action science fiction thriller. In addition to this, the ethos of each character is clarified, and there is no confusion regarding either of them. Therefore, it was not difficult to determine the roles of the heroes and to analyze them in detail
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