Film Review: I am Number Four

Wow!  I loved this film and now I want to read the books it was based on.

I am Number Four is about an alien, John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), and his guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), who is one of nine children who were sent to earth when their planet was destroyed.  Numbers One, Two and Three have been killed and John knows that he is next.  Henri takes him to Paradise, Ohio to start over, again, and tells John that he has to keep a low profile and this means no school or socialising due to the fact that his picture keeps on finding its way on to the internet so that the Mogs (more aliens who are chasing them) can find them easier.  After a couple of days, John is restless from being cooped up and persuades Henri to let him go to school, arguing that Number Three was found even though he was living in the middle of no-where with no contact with the outside world.

At school, John meets Sam, the school nerd who is picked on by the school jocks, who warns him not to hang around with him as it will affect his reputation before he even starts.  Sam’s dad (a conspiracy theorist) is missing.  John also meets, and falls in love with, Sarah who is a photographer (and ex-girlfriend of the star football player).

During the course of the film, John’s powers develop and he has to learn to control them to prevent his secret getting out.  However, when Henri is kidnapped, Sam comes to John’s aid admitting that he saw what John did in the woods and agrees to keep his secret.  After rescuing Henri, John insists on going to see Sarah to explain why he has to go (and who he is) before he leaves again.  However, the sherif’s department find him and, although he escapes, he is tracked by the Mogs to the school.

In the final scenes, John meets Number Six who has been following him after her own guardian was killed and between them they defeat the Mogs.

The film ends with John and Number Six knowing where to find the other four members of their race and going off to find them with the help of Sam.  John tells Sarah that he will be back.

I enjoyed watching Alex Pettyfer as the new kid in school trying not to fit in or draw attention to himself.  Unfortunately, he just can’t help connecting with some people and drawing the wrong kind of attention by standing up to those who pick on his friends.  Timothy Olyphant is good as the father figure/guardian as he tries to protect John.  There is also a good supporting cast and I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline and the little twists and turns.  I am now looking forward to reading the books to see how much of the plot was really missed out 😉

The screenplay for I am Number Four was written by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and Marti Nixon.  The film was directed by D.J. Caruso.


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