I Am Number Four, originally a teenage science fiction novel, tells the story of John Smith, a.k.a. Number Four (Alex Pettyfer – Stormbreaker, Beastly), a superpowered, human-in-appearance alien being hunted by another, more evil race of skinheaded and tattoed alien jackasses known as the Mogadorians. After his home planet of Lorien is taken over by the afore-mentioned jackasses, John, along with eight other Lorien youths and their respective Guardians, flees to Earth, unaware of the power that he possesses and the curse that comes with it.
On Earth, the nine Lorien children are hunted and killed in sequential order by the Mog squad. One, Two, and Three are dead. Unless John can harness his powers and learn to wield them effectively, his number will soon be up.
Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron, & Timothy Olyphant Head Cast of I Am Number Four
Alex Pettyfer stars as the title teenager with telekenetic powers in I Am Number Four. He is watched over by Henri (Timothy Olyphant – Hitman, The Crazies), a Lorian skilled in combat but without any superhuman abilities. Rounding out the players are: Dianna Agron (Burlesque, Fox’s Glee) as John’s love interest; Jake Abel (The Lovely Bones, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief) as John’s high school nemesis; Callan McAuliffe (Flipped) as John’s geeky friend; Teresa Palmer (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Take Me Home Tonight) as the more competent butt-kicker, Number Six; and Kevin Durand (Legion, Robin Hood) as the Mogadorian leader.
I Am Number Four was directed by D.J. Caruso (Taking Lives, Disturbia, Eagle Eye). The screenplay was written by Alfred gough, Miles Millar, and Marti Noxon, adapted from the same-titled novel by Pittacus Lore.
I Am Number Four Film Review: A Fairly Good Time Killer
I Am Number Four is typical, mainstream science fiction nonsense encompassing the stereotypicalm black-and-white battle of good versus evil. It is stylistically similar to another Bay science fiction production, Transformers, and thematically similar to Push, with an added alien aspect. Designed for a young adult audience, Number Four is surprisingly violent, with blood and death tempered by suggestive, sometimes unseen homicides and vaporizing dead aliens (rather than blood-and-gut nastyness).
The main characters’ backstories are quickly summed up – although viewers understand the fate of the Loriens and the plight of their survivors on Earth, the film fails to evoke any emotional response. But, one generally does not choose a movie like I Am Number Four to do some soul searching. Rather, films like Four usually target and attract those wishing to be awed by imaginative action and dazzling special effects. In this respect, I Am Number Four still falls short, but not painstakingly so.
The acting, too, is so-so. The normally underrated Olyphant gives unfortunate credence to why he is normally underrated, and his character’s death has no impact on the viewer. Durand’s villain (and all Mogadorians) are an oddly intentional and unpleasant mixture of Neo-Nazi punks and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Bug in Men in Black.