Movie: I Am Number Four – Entertainment or Propaganda?

· Ideological Ramblings
Authors

I just watched the movie “I am Number Four”.  I enjoyed it, though I suspect its target market demographic is more my daughter’s age group than my own.  I won’t give anything away by telling you the story, but it gave me two thoughts to ponder:

First, the movie seems like a fantastic introduction to a number of sequels (I mean what movie doesn’t hope for that?) and even for a new Graphic Novel.  It’s likely that they’ve considered that as well. You’ll probably find new action figure dolls labeled,  “I am Number (insert number and super powers here) on store shelves advertised as Christmas items in October.

Second, it seems to send a familiar message.  The message is that we can do it ourselves (aimed at the youth), and We will find Them (the “bad guys”) and assumed, based on the movie – DESTROY THEM.

Now, I enjoyed this movie – and I remember this message.  “We can do it, we can find them, we can destroy them.”

I was a science & science fiction geek as a kid.  Oh, yeah, I was also a band nerd.  But what’s a “Husky Boy” with a red afro and braces to do?  I played in band and I read. A lot. I’d forget to eat because I was engrossed with my reading.  That was my parent’s Funk and Wagnall’s Encyclopedia set.  I started there and I’ve never looked back.  Until recently.

What does this have to do with “I am Number Four”?  Well, it’s the message.

As a science / science fiction geek / Band Nerd / Book Worm,
I recognized two things about the movie:

  1. This is a common theme in fictional literature.  The Human race is saved by (insert here).  One of my favorites was “Roswell” on television in the early 2000’s if memory serves. Note: This is NOT a spoiler alert!  Watch the movie and decide for yourself.
  2. This is also a common theme in early revolutionary propaganda.  The  argument here is that this falls into the “crazy conspiracy theories” held by nut jobs on all sides.  True. It is also what you find if you read local newspapers from 1922-36 German Republic.

Remember the way the German 20-somethings who didn’t go to war behaved?  They were known as the “Brown Shirts”.  They were youth who supported the Nazi Cause when it came about.  In the small towns around Berlin, the Brownshirts had a popular saying, “We can do it. They cannot hide. We will eliminate them.”

The same message?  Well the words were different, so we don’t have to agree.  Brown shirts are “SO 1930’s!”

I mean after all, the Germans were saying this about the Jews in the 1920’s and 30’s, and that was a long time ago. Right?

Besides, who would the bad guys be in this day and age?

You can get either meaning out of this movie, or you can just enjoy the movie, like I did without any preconceptions.  It’s a good movie.  But if you think I may be on to something, I’d love to hear from you.  Please leave a Comment on my blog.  Thanks.

2 Comments

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  1. gordon d. aumick

    Jay , Gordon here , I haven’t seen the movie but I do understand what you are talking about . I to was a sci-fi geek (still am) but unfortunitly they are giving the wrong message . We can’t do anything without “He” who gives us the strength for the asking . Does that make any sense ? P.S. Keep writing , I love your writing style . Your Brother in Christ Jesus , Gordon

    • jklbus01

      Thank you Gordon! Indeed, it is HE who gives us strength. Glory to God!

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