I am 55/109 minutes into "I Am Number Four," and holy crap I could not be happier with the main character right now. I assumed Dianna Agron would be this movie's only saving grace, and while she is pretty darn fantastic (to the power of a million), this dude is significantly more attractive than he appeared in photos and has an impressive Protector Of The Small thing going on that is irresistible.
p.s. oh hey there superficial head wound for the pretty girl to coo over.
edit: okay, done with the movie, so now we've got more thorough discussion behind the cut, but first I just want to say: I AM NOT KIDDING ABOUT NEEDING A SEQUEL, ARGH, UNFAIR. Stupid sci-fi. Stupid sci-fi and its utter lack of definitive endings. And no, I'm not reading the books to get my fix. I've got plenty of chick lit territory to cover if I'm going to read filler books.
Basically, despite the moronic alien theme running throughout - I'm sorry, but when you have tattooed bald guys with gills on the side of their nose walking around and people using words like "Mogadorians," my only response is to laugh my ass off - the vast majority of this movie is focused on relatively ordinary and precious high school antics (save for a few Twilight-esque super strength incidents and maybe some blue light shooting out of his hands here and there). Set in Ohio, because OF COURSE IT IS.
And by "precious high school antics" I mean we have Sarah, the unfairly pretty, independent spirit absorbed in her photography work, a not-by-choice loner who doesn't seem to mind. (of course, it helps that she is obviously better than everyone) Catching the eye of John, who wins my heart at least eight separate ways:
- takes in shivering homeless Beagle, which is obviously not what it seems, but he doesn't know that
- looks like a non-douchey Abercrombie model (is there such a thing?)
- has both very pretty eyes and delightfully just-overgrown-enough-to-look-shaggy hair
- is thoroughly unimpressed with local jock bully gang
- despite an appearance that could easily make him their king, chooses to help the first bullied kid he sees
- continues casually befriending said bullied kid
- gives no bothers about how this makes him look
- falls for the pretty girl while she takes a shine to him (and I shall call them Team Pretty Blondes 2.0, a version that far exceeds what I was given on Glee)
- comes to her quasi-rescue and lays the smackdown on the ex who won't leave her alone
- maybe sports a whole lot more "I'm not going to let them hurt you" protectiveness before the movie's end, once she makes it clear that she is clinging to him come hell or high water
And that's without going into detail on just how much my fingers may have curled up in quiet squee at John/Sarah and how many hours I could spend watching that unfold, though even with the time limit, I thought they paced it pretty well. I particularly liked his puppy-starved-for-affection-eyes gazing at her American Dream house & family and everything she represented, but there wasn't a second they had that wasn't wonderful. Me being me, I particularly liked how he swept off in a fit of self-loathing after the aforementioned smackdown/loss of control, and she would have none of that, following after him rather than fleeing like a scared rabbit.
Sarah is indescribable, so let's just say she remains my favorite character in this movie/probably eclipses Quinn for the title of "best character Dianna has ever played."
Aaaaaand, in other news, the friendship with Sam is pretty great. [I think you underestimate just how big a fan I am of jock-types being genuinely kind people. I knew lots like that, but they are hard to find in fiction.] I can't remember how to talk about this without feeling like I am somehow implying slash, though. You'd think I could look up some terms from The Bro Code I happen to have lying around, but it's all the way across the room.
Really, the only thing the alien plot (and the Long Boring Fight Sequence that always concludes such things) had going for it* was the arrival of Number Six, who is one awesome chick, and I'm sad we didn't get to see her do much more than kick butt. I was dreading potential love triangle antics based on the cover, and did not want to have to choose, but that is completely irrelevant given how late she shows up in the game. She has no time to do anything except shock and awe.
(*Okay, and I did really like the crazy carnivorous beasts.)
And then there is the final scene, which is right about where I remembered that this movie didn't do as well as expected and there's probably a reason I haven't heard any whispers of a sequel since.
[I guess that would make this spoilery?]
This is desperately unfair because do we see how much more Number Six we were poised to get in hypothetical round 2?? I still need to know definitively whether Sam's dad is dead or not! I need to know if Dianna Agron would have been convinced to do more! Also this cliffhangery departure ending is both unfairly suspenseful and heartbreaking.
(fine, I kind of love this attempt to placate me with soulmatehood, "We only fall for one person...ever", but that also seems like kind of a lot to lay on a high school chick who's known you for like a week. No, hey, I'm not arguing the goodbye kissing. I can almost look directly at it without being embarrassed.)
I don't know what to do with the fact that it ended on "Letters From The Sky," by which I am forever traumatized after Harper's Island.
...I'm probably not going to read the books? No. No, I'm not. I can use the power of Wikipedia to remove the suspense and thus take away my motivation for ever checking them out. See? Done.
In conclusion: I had the world's lowest expectations, but turns out this movie actually would have been worth paying money to see. Who knew??
In other news, GoodReads went horribly, horribly wrong in recommending Salvaged to me, which sounded like a solid YA novel and turned out to be regular/Christian fiction. I gave it a game try anyway, having read something about a sweet romance, but I stopped around 50 pages in. Right around the time I realized that she was seeing Jesus in her bedroom and having casual 2-way conversations with him on a regular basis. Conversations that include, and I am quoting this directly, "Why didn't you give me bigger boobs?" / "If the man we have picked out for you wanted that, my Father would have given them to you."