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I Am Number Four felt oddly familiar when I watched it on Friday. Sometimes this happens at the movies, this feeling of déjà vu. Actually, it happened to me again as I watched Unknown today, which owes The Bourne Identity some royalties. Movies often steal from other movies, and sometimes if you just boil what’s happening on screen down to its lowest common denominator, Actor X performing Action A, it brings recall to parallel examples from prior movies you’ve seen and the feeling of déjà vu is triggered.
Attractive movie star Matt Damon (X) can’t remember who he is, but he’s tangled up in a web of mystery and danger (A).
Attractive movie star Liam Neeson (Y) can’t remember who he is, but he’s tangled up in a web of mystery and danger (B).
The formula is easier seen the more complex it as. In both the above examples for instance, add variables of gorgeous women with accents as sidekicks and settings in Europe.
Okay, the lab coat is off. This feeling of déjà vu is often frustrating. After all, you didn’t pay another expensive movie admission just to see another version of a movie you already have on dvd or could’ve streamed on Netflix, now didja?
Well, this writer is out to save you some money. Chances are you’ve already seen I Am Number Four, just in the form of other cinematic offerings. It’s an amalgamation of several films, which you can just put on all at the same time and pretty much get the same experience, saving you ten dollars that will buy you a pizza, or 1/35th of a share of Apple stock.
At several moments during "Number Four" I got those
déjà vu feelings. The films I was reminded of aren’t necessarily the first that have done what they did, they were just what popped into my head.
Here they are:
1. Protagonist played by sexy young actor has a knack for wearing hoodies over a leather jacket.
Boom! Tron: Legacy
2. Dogs that are aliens.
Men In Black
3. Large bully picks on nerd.
Back to the Future, Napoleon Dynamite
4. Alien in human form wants to bang some humans
5. Teenagers deal with being superheroes
This scientist theorizes that simultaneous play of all the listed movies will provide the viewer with a similar experience to that of watching I Am Number Four. Also, re-watching each film listed above will produce a more satisfactory cinema experience while maintaining current weight of viewer’s wallet.
Alternatively, you could drop another Hamilton at the theater tomorrow and get another helping of cardboard characters and stale storylines. Your choice.