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I Am Number Four (2011)
There were nine of us. Three are dead...
Filmmaker(s): D. J. Caruso

A teenage fugitive with an incredible secret races to stay one step ahead of the mysterious forces seeking destroy him in this sci-fi action thriller. With three dead and one on the run, the race to find the elusive Number Four begins. Outwardly normal teen John Smith never gets too comfortable in the same identity, and along with his guardian, Henri, he is constantly moving from town to town. With each passing day, John gains a stronger grasp on his extraordinary new powers, and his bond to the beings that share his fantastic fate grows stronger.

I Am Number Four (2011)

The Bad Guys

I suppose we will have to endure a succession of movies which feature adults pretending to be high school kids. There will be the girl next door falling in forever-love with a supernatural guy, who is threatened.

There is not much here to even watch, much less admire. But I did notice the bad guys.

You know, there are villain consultants, and I??????ll bet the community who put this together used one or two.

There are only a few characteristics: Jagged tattoos on shaved heads, thin lips with shark??????s teeth, burly bodies clad in long leather. Some gills are tossed in to indicate a separate race, but not too separate. At any rate, the gills are not part of the threatening costume.

The film was so slow and so bereft of a full cosmology, I saw myself filling in the cosmology of movie semiotics. It amazes me how much of this is accidental. What impressed me was the bad guys.

Skinhead archetypes, with impressive accouterments. The snarling pointy teeth and speech patterns have been carefully developed from something that I think comes from the hillbilly bully, a galoot. The big leather coats is an accident of film, I believe where surplus flight jackets and motorcycles were sold in the same place in California after WWII. So the idea of tough motorcycle rebel was bound into leather costuming. Both of these are directly cinematic.

But it is the engineering of the tattoos that is the wonder. This is a fashion that evolves quickly with local fads spreading by human to human impression. Oddly, each human can make only one statement, and live with it for the rest of his/her life. Collectively, the barbed swirl has somehow evolved as a statement of dangerous macho, directly from Maori warrior to Special Ops wannabees.

We see it here, the assembled costume, and know these are the worst of the worst.

Posted in 2011

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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