Review: I Am Number Four Blu-ray/DVD

I Am Number Four Blu-ray/DVD comboSTUDIO: Disney | DIRECTOR: D.J. Caruso | CAST: Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer, Timothy Olyphant
RELEASE DATE: 5/24/2011 | PRICE: DVD $29.99, Blu-ray $39.99, Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD $44.99
BONUSES: bloopers, featurette, making-of
SPECS: PG | 109 min. | Science-fiction | 1.85:1 aspect ratio | 5.1 DTS-HD audio | English, French, Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

I Am Number Four is an average science-fiction movie that won’t be on favorite lists of diehard genre fans but will be enjoyed by those who follow the film’s good-looking stars. The movie has plenty of holes (who goes and develops a roll of film while police and aliens are after you?), but it’s also heavy on action and visual effects, which is really what the film’s all about.

I Am Number FourBased on the novel by Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four tells the story of a teen (Alex Pettyfer) who is one of nine aliens who, along with their mentors, escaped their planet after it was destroyed by another alien race, the Mogadorians. Those evil and rather ugly aliens have now come to Earth to dessimate its population, but first they must take out the escaped aliens, as they’re the only beings with the power to stop the evil. The Mogadorians are killing the escapees in order of their number. They’ve already dispatched the first three and they’re now coming after … yep, number four, Pettyfer. Too bad he’s just met an Earth girl (Dianna Agron of TV’s Glee) he really likes.

The performances aren’t going to win any Oscars, but for this type of movie, they don’t have to. Audiences aren’t watching I Am Number Four for dramatic posturing. But Pettyfer is fine as the alien who just wants to fit in and be normal, and Agron basically does a shyer version of Glee‘s Quinn Fabray. Timothy Olyphant is good as Pettyfer’s mentor, basically a father trying to reign in a teen who’s bucking at his leash. And Teresa Palmer plays the ass-kicking Number Six enthusiastically. Perhaps the best — although pretty disgusting — performance comes from Kevin Durand, who sheds his Robin Hood Little John to become the Mogadorian Commander.

The visual effects look great on high-definition Blu-ray, including Pettyfer’s light coming out of his body trick and the nasty alien creatures. And the sounds of the climactic battle scene make good use of the speakers.

Disney kept the Blu-ray special features package pretty slim. The best of the menu is the featurette “Becoming Number Six,” which shows Palmer in training and on the set. Her enjoyment is infectious; even when she’s pulled about 50 feet into the air and swung around on a crane, she comes down asking when they’re going to go again.

The disc also has a quick bloopers reel, which is fun, offering gaffs from most members of the cast — even Durand, although his Mogadorian Commander doesn’t appear to be laughing.

And finally, exclusive to the Blu-ray are a handful of deleted scenes with introductions by director D. J. Caruso. The scenes (some deleted, some extended) are fun to watch, the best being “Sam’s Mom,” starring Raiders of the Lost Ark‘s Karen Allen. The scene isn’t necessary for the film’s story — hence, the cut — but it’s such a good scene that we’re glad it’s available on the Blu-ray.

 

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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.