As a Dianna Agron fan, I certainly wanted to like this movie.Â Â While reading the novel of the same title, I anxiously imagined how filmmakers were going to make I Am Number Four’s action-packed plot twists and superhuman effects come to life.Â But, as with most book-to-movie adaptations (especially those from young adult novels – see: the Twilight Saga) I suppose I’m not surprised that it fell many light years short of my expectations.
In the movie, Alex Pettyfer plays a teenage alien, “John Smith”, from the planet Lorien, brought to Earth as a young child after his home planet was destroyed by an evil race called the Mogodorians.Â Although John cannot remember the details, his guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) helps him fulfill his destiny as one of nine chosen children meant to someday bring Lorien back to life.
The super-creepy Mogodorians, however, (led by Kevin Durand, or Sergeant Keamy from Lost) have invaded Earth in search of the nine, attempting to kill them off forever.Â Their only setback is a charm, cast on the children before they escaped Lorien which prevents them from being killed “out of order”.Â When a fellow Lorien is killed, a painful warning scar appears on the legs of those remaining.
After John feels his third scar, Henri delivers some bad (yet predictable) news – John is Number Four, next to be hunted down by the vicious beasts.Â The plot complicates when John, who looks like a normal teen but is typically on the run, finds a homey comfort in a small Ohio town – and falls in love with the beautiful, blonde Sarah (Agron).
Sure, it wouldn’t be a big deal if John could stay under the radar in Paradise, Ohio, but unfortunately he is developing special alien powers which include but are not limited to; illuminated hands, super strength, stellar speed, and the ability to resist fire (oh, that one was only in the book – apparently lazy filmmakers weren’t willing to create these special effects…what a shame).Â The story unfolds as (again, predictably) the Mogodorians chase grows stronger and John must choose wisely in order to protect those he cares about most – both alien and human.
Usually not one to become angry over book and movie differences, this one absolutely lacks some amazing book details, many of which hurt the story’s success on the big screen.Â Watching before reading may leave some heavily unanswered questions and cause confusion throughout.Â Minimally exciting action and romance simply will not win viewers over. Â Save your theater money on this one, as I am even hesitant to suggest renting it in the future.
Truly, the movie earned 2.5 stars based solely on the character of Bernie Kosar (no, not the Browns quarterback – but named after him!), an adorable and powerful beagle who serves as John’s sidekick.Â Otherwise, this is a one-star flick.
Sorry, Number Four.Â I guess I’ll just have to wait for the probably-just-as-boring, annoyingly and obviously set-up-for sequel in the Lorien Legacies series, the Power of Six.