I Am Number Four based on the book of the same name by Pittacus Lore is the new book-to-film franchise from Dreamworks and director D.J. Caruso. It stars british actor Alex Pettyfer as Number Four or better known as his alias John Smith. John isn’t a normal teenager by any means, he’s not even human. He is in fact one of nine extra-terrestrial refugees from the planet Lorien, they fled from their home planet, along with guardians, after a massacre of their planet at the hands of the Mogadorians. But it seems that the Mogadorians have found them on the planet Earth, and are killing each of the nine in order – Why in order wasn’t completely explained in the film.
After number three is killed in Kenya, John and his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) arrive at the ironically named town Paradise, Ohio. Henri pushes John to keep low but John wont take no for an answer and is determined to lead a normal life, but of course, that’s impossible for an alien and he is slowly being tracked down by the mogadorians. Whilst dragging his trusty sci-fi obsessed friend Sam (Callan McAuliffe) and his girlfriend Sarah (Glee Star – Dianna Agron) into the mix.
The general feel of the film is more aimed towards the teens, however I think many people will enjoy this film. The film generally doesn’t think outside the box and the cliches will definitely scream out at you, the only difference is it manages to keep the cringe-worthiness to a minimum – which is a nice change. The one thing that will definitely stick in your mind is the brilliant acting from a Beagle dog it will have you falling hard in love with it filling the cinema with ‘awws’ and ‘arrrs.’ The film has been compared to the likes of Twilight, I strongly disagree unlike Twilight this films climax is a lot more interesting and manages to keep the audience hooked.
The acting was somewhat average but believable, not very strong performances, although the script didn’t seem to give them much of a chance. Cliche Alert!!! The Lorien (goodies) aliens are just so beautifully sculpted and the Mogadorians (baddies) are so damn ugly but extremely creepy at the same time. Some of their actions will make you cringe, but for the most part, they’re just creepy evil tall things that justify their role well. The concept was differently something that could be explored nicely but it was lacking in depth.
The CGI is brilliant as the saying goes – simple but effective – with the ‘Legacies’ which are basically special powers. The glossy blue lights are very attractive. The monsters in the film are also nicely done however not jaw-dropping effects, nevertheless it still works.
Fans of the book will definitely pick out changed bits and added bits. I’d like to say this film is just another part of the ‘I Am Number Four’ franchise rather than a literal adaptation but the essence of the book and the main storyline is still prominent. What would of been nice is if we could actually see what happened to Number Four’s people in a flashback, but I was let-down.
Overall – 8/10 Just about! My mind says 7, but I’m going to give it an extra point just because the Cliche’s were not cringe worthy I think they did a very good job in keeping ‘fresh.’