This is the first movie to be adapted from a concept created by disgraced A Million Little Pieces author James Frey's new intellectual property farm. (Picture an army of unpaid interns shackled to desks, typing out generic young-adult novels while Big Jim stands at the front of the room bellowing half-baked sci-fi concepts, and you're not too far away from a recent New York magazine article explaining the new venture.)
It feels like a movie constructed by a corporate committee: Prettyboy John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is an alien from some other planet (it doesn't matter what planet, because he does not behave in any alien way and we never learn anything about the planet and it doesn't figure into the plot at all). John is protected by Henri (a seriously wasted Timothy Olyphant), an older guy who wants to keep John from going to school and having fun and stuff. So John goes to school and defends the nerd from the jocks and falls in love with the arty girl who looks just like a cheerleader (Dianna Agron, a cheerleader from Glee). Here are words that actually come out of Olyphant's mouth: "We don't love like the humans. With us, it's forever."
Oh, and there are aliens called Mogadorians, who are evil and who want to murder John for some evil reason. They have evil monster dogs that look almost exactly like every other evil monster dog in cinematic history, from Ghostbusters onward. And John has some kind of power that can do whatever he needs at any given point. (He can cast light out of his palms like a flashlight, push things around with telekinesis, blow shit up, and... jump-start cars?) It's just one scene of generic sci-fi garbage after another. Nothing has consequence. If it feels like a discarded TV pilot, that's for good reason: Four's script was cowritten by Smallville hacks Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. This feels less like going to a movie and more like going to the market-testing session for a movie. Ugh. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.