Review: I Am Number Four

Posted: February 18, 2011 in Film Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Alex Pettyfer in a scene from I Am Number FourThe trailer for this movie looked a little intense for a Disney picture, but it’s actually no darker than the last couple of Harry Potter flicks. Similarly, there’s a fair bit of CGI and an ending that will lead to another beginning (not to give anything away, but it is based on the first book in a proposed series of six).

Three are dead. He is Number Four. John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events—his first love (Dianna Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.

I Am Number Four is your typical teen superhero movie. It actually comes just short of saying, “With great power comes great responsibility.” John’s legacy manifests suddenly, without warning, and he’s immediately called a freak by his so-called friends – very X-men-esque. He then learns to harness his abilities and use them to battle the monstrous evildoers hunting down his race. And in between all this, he finds a best friend and falls in love with a girl. This movie doesn’t miss a beat.

The stereotypical small town of Paradise is a little over-the-top, with the high school quarterback shoving the nerd into lockers and the blonde bombshell being randomly selected to show the new kid to his first class. But you have to wade through this muck to get to the interesting part – when John develops and tests his new powers. Then there’s a bit more wading until the action and real story takes over.

Pettyfer was a sound choice for the role. He’s handsome and easily fits in to any number of the schools he’s had to attend to protect his identity. He also displays just enough vulnerability to draw the audience into his character. Olyphant is great as the tough but caring protector that enjoys sarcasm. His rugged appearance at the start of the film is also a plus. Agron is almost too apple pie for this film, which is only magnified by her perfect family.

Overall, this film is quite entertaining and could lead to a promising franchise if the alien character development continues on par. Their legacy is intriguing and I’m genuinely interested in seeing where the story takes them next.

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