In I Am Number Four, a young alien on Earth is on the run from his enemies. He decides to fight back after he falls in love with a human girl. Read the review to find out more.
Business rating: 1 star
Star cast: Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe.
What’s Good: The excellent visual effects; the eye-pleasing cinematography.
What’s Bad: The hotch-potch screenplay; the average performances.
Verdict: I Am Number Four will disappoint at the box-office.
Loo break: Several in the latter half of the film.
Watch or Not? Not recommended.
DreamWorks SKG and Reliance Big Entertainment’s I Am Number Four is the survival tale of a young alien on Earth.
John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is one of the nine aliens from Planet Lorien who escaped to Earth just before the planet was annihilated by a rival species, the Mogadorians. Each of the nine aliens is gifted in one way or the other. Compared to humans, the Loriens are incredibly strong, fast and are able to do things like superheroes. While staying in Florida with his guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), John learns that the three out of nine surviving Loriens have been killed by the Magadorians. Fearing danger to John’s life, Henri and John shift to a small town in Ohio. Here, Henri orders John to remain off the grid, warning him that they will shift town again if any of John’s pictures make it to the internet.
In school, John makes friends with Sam (Callan McAuliffe), whose father had been abducted by unknown aliens, and Sarah (Dianna Agron), a budding photographer, whom John takes a liking to. There is also Mark (Jake Abel), Sarah’s ex-boyfriend, who attacks John to avenge John’s budding relationship with Sarah. In one such fight, John discovers that he has special powers and does not know how to control them. Henri comes to John’s rescue and instructs him how to reign in his powers. After the local police finds out about John and Mark’s fight, Herni decides to move to another town. John, who is in love with Sarah, refuses to do so. On the other hand, the Magadorians are inching closer to John’s location. What happens next? Do the Magadorians succeed in destroying their enemies? Does John realise his complete powers? The rest of the film tells the tale.
Story and Screenplay – I Am Number Four Review
Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and Marti Noxon’s screenplay, based on the science-fiction book of the same name is unremarkable. In an attempt to, perhaps, make a blockbuster, the writers have created a screenplay that is a mish-mash of different genres: sci-fi film, action and even a college romance like the Twilight series. However, the extremely scattered goings-on; the multitude of characters; and the parallel stories just tire the viewer out. The romance between John, the film’s main protagonist, and his female companion, Sarah, is also cheesy. So is John’s relationship with his guardian, Henri and a pet dog, which later turns out to be his guardian monster. The film does start out well, with John’s narration of how his race is a hunted one, but soon, many incredible, and even funny, events take place. They make the audience lose interest. Because the writers haven’t been able to do their job well, the viewer also starts questioning the basic premise of the film – can an alien species, that looks exactly like humans, really survive on Earth? All in all, the botched screenplay is a complete letdown, even though the film’s production values are grand. The dialogues are below the grade.
Star Performances – I Am Number Four Review
Alex Pettyfer does a fair job as John but he doesn’t have the looks or the charisma of a star. Dianna Agron, Timothy Olyphant, Callan McAuliffe and Jake Abel are just average. Teresa Palmer, as Lorien Number six, stands out in an action-packed role. Kevin Durand, as the Mogadorian Commander, does poorly.
Direction, Music and Editing – I Am Number Four Review
D.J. Caruso’s direction is poor. His execution of the film shows the confusion that must have riddled his mind while he was making the film. Trevor Rabin’s background score fails to create an impact. Guillermo Navarro’s camerawork is brilliant but can do little to uplift the weak story. Vince Filippone and Jim Page could have done with many more cuts at the editing table.
The Last Word
All in all, I Am Number Four is a highly disappointing fare due to its extremely weak screenplay and the average performances. It will perform poorly at the Indian box-office, and in no small measure due to its poor promotion.