PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):
John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is an alien from planet Lorien who was sent to Earth as a child alongside eight others to escape an invading race, the Mogadorians, which destroyed their home planet. He is protected by a Warrior/Guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), and has developed superpowers due to his extraterrestrial nature, such as enhanced strength, speed and agility, telekinesis, resistance to fire and heat, and the power to generate light from his hands.
The Mogadorians, led by the Commander (Kevin Durand) eventually learn about the nine children and come to Earth in search of them. These Loriens can only be killed in a particular sequence, with three of them having already been slain. John is Number Four. Knowing this, he and Henri move from Florida to Paradise, Ohio, where John befriends conspiracy theorist Sam Goode (Callan McAuliffe), a dog named Bernie Kosar, and falls in love with amateur photographer Sarah Hart (Dianna Agron), whose ex-boyfriend, school athlete Mark James (Jake Abel) is a bully who often torments both John and Sam.
During the spring carnival, Mark and his friends try to capture John and Sarah, whom they believe are in a relationship, and follow them into the woods, where they attempt to beat John up. However, he uses his powers to fend them off and rescue Sarah. Sam witnesses the events, and John tells him his true origin. Shortly thereafter, Mark’s father, the local sheriff, interrogates Henri on John’s whereabouts when his son and his friends were attacked, and notices that he has a high-tech surveillance system.
Henri tells John that too many people are suspicious of them, in addition to John’s random displays of power, caused by his difficulty in controlling them, and that they must leave. However, John tells him he doesn’t want to because he’s in love with Sarah.
The Mogadorians start searching for John. Another alien from Lorien, Number Six (Teresa Palmer), decided to go after the Mogadorians instead of running away from them after her Guardian was murdered. The Mogadorians eventually locate John and manipulate two conspiracy theorists into capturing Henri. When John and Sam go to rescue him, they are attacked but manage to fend Mogadorians off. However, Henri is mortally wounded and dies after John and Sam escape with some Lorien artifacts, including a blue rock that acts as a tracking device to locate other Loriens. Sam’s father, a conspiracy theorist who disappeared while hunting aliens in Mexico, has another. While Sam searches for it, John tries to say goodbye to Sarah at a party, only to discover that the Mogadorians have framed him and Henri for the murders of the conspiracy theorists, as well as being terrorists due to their cutting-edge technology. Mark sees John and calls his father, who corners John and Sarah. He saves her from a fall, revealing his powers in the process, and they escape to their high school.
Meanwhile, The Commander also arrives at Paradise, blocking the exits with trucks. He is confronted by Mark and his father, and, after injuring the latter, he forces the former to show him where John is hiding, Mark then takes him to the school, which he knows is Sarah’s hideout.
There, John, Sarah, and Sam are attacked by the Commander and his soldiers, who have brought two giant monsters to hunt the trio. They are saved by Number Six and John’s “dog,” Bernie Kosar, who reveals his true form as a good Chimera, which can shapeshift, and was sent by his parents to protect him. Bernie Kosar eventually shapeshifts back to a beagle with a very wounded paw. John and Number Six, who can teleport and block energy-based attacks, fight the Mogadorians. They eventually defeat them all, including the Commander, whose energy grenades are overheated by John and explode, destroying his body.
On the following day, John, Number Six, Sam, and Bernie Kosar,unite their blue rocks and discover the location of the other four surviving Loriens. John decides to let Sam come with them with hopes of finding Sam’s father. They set to find the others and rally them together to protect Earth from the Mogadorians, leaving Sarah and a repentant Mark, who has redeemed himself by lying to his father about John’s whereabouts and returning to John a box belonging to his father. John, Number Six, and Sam leave Paradise to look for the other Loriens.
The film ends as John narrates that Paradise is the first town he left without Henri, but it’s also the first one where he has a reason to come back to.
When the trailers for this came out, I thought that it was nothing more than Twilight with aliens. Although there are a few similar themes, boy was I wrong!
Apparently, I Am Number Four is a series of books. Well, I say series, but this is the only book that has been published. Don’t ask me how a film is released before the series can even get a solid footing. True, the first couple of Harry Potter films were released before the last few books were written, but there were at least parts of the series out in bookstores. I don’t know, there is just something odd about this to me.
The plot of this film revolves around an apparent alien who is supposed to be lying low to avoid being caught and captured by the Mogdorians, a race of evil bounty hunter type aliens who seek to do nothing more than wipe out entire races.
Number Four and his guardian/protector are constantly on the run to avoid being located by these creatures. The film catches them going from Florida to Paradise, Ohio (a more ironic name for a town I’ve never heard).
While in Paradise, Four meets a young man who is actually the son of a human who was helping his race and a girl whom he falls in love with, not to mention the school bully. This is a high school movie after all. There had to be one somewhere, right?
During his time in high school, Four learns more about his powers…just in time, as his guardian is kidnapped and killed trying to save his life, and the Mogdorians have located him and are coming after him. This leads to the films exciting climax, including the meeting of Number Six, another alien who has awesome powers possibly even better than Four.
Aside from the initial setup of the story, the beginning of this film had me nearly bored to death. However, once it picked up a little past the halfway point, it had my full attention. The action scenes are not to be missed. Although, with all the bright lights, I would sit too close to the screen!
The special effects are pretty good. I can’t say that I expected more or less since I know very little about the book and whatnot.
The cast wasn’t exactly strong, but I can say that as much as I hate Dianna Agron is Glee, she shows she has more range as an actress with this role.
Timothy Olyphant deserved a bigger role, but I’m assuming this guy dies in the book, so there really isn’t much one can do, right?
I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who want to bash the hell out of this film, but I’m not going to be one of them. Sure, I Am Number Four isn’t the greatest film, but the second half of the film makes it worth watching. I could do without the boring first half, but understand that the characters have to be introduced, developed, etc. At least there aren’t any wannabe werewolves or vampires running around.
So, should you see this? Sure, it won’t be a waste of time. Now, don’t get your hopes up for something spectacular, but it is a somewhat decent that won’t leave you feeling dirty after the credits roll.
3 1/2 out of 5 stars