In the biggest surprise of the 365 in 365 journey, I Am Number Four delivers an action packed film that except for a few weak points here and there, was a fantastic film and hell of a lot of fun. Directed by D.J. Caruso, the director of Disturbia, a film I thought was a decent re-make of Rear Window, and written by the Smallville team of Alfred Gough and Miles Millar.
John Smith is an alien. There were others that came from his world like him, nine of them in total. On his world, his people fought a race of beings known as Mogadorians, who completely obliterate the people of the world they want to inhabit. After doing so to John’s home world, the Mogadorians have their eyes set on Earth, and the nine people that could stop them. The nine of them have a charm that allows them to be killed in order, three are dead, John is number four.
John and his protector played by Timothy Olyphant, go from town to town keeping a low profile and doing everything they can not to be noticed. John however, is reaching that rebellious age of wanting to do his own thing on his own terms. He begins school where he attempts to blend in. There, he meets Sarah played by Glee’s Dianna Agron. The two begin a hesitant relationship and John’s powers begin to grow rapidly and uncontrollably. Through carelessness, John allows himself to be discovered by the Mogadorians and this begins the final act of the film as he tries to survive from this race of killers. Along to aide him is Number 6, played by Teresa Palmer, who is more advanced in her training and her abilities. The final battle on a football field is something to behold as the special effects and choreography are in full swing. We end the film with a chance for a sequel and while the first film didn’t do outlandish numbers, it’s a solid film and I hope more people with the help of this review, will check it out.
What I really enjoyed about the film is that everything within the movie was well done. The special effects were cool looking and executed effectively. The make-up and character design was such that the villains actually looked scary, and the actors, while not great, were believable in their roles. What’s nice in this age where everyone wants to be the next Michael Bay and create action scenes where it’s tough to tell exactly what’s going on at all times, is that Caruso intercuts action between characters, but it’s easy to tell what’s going on at all times and the images are clear. Granted I’m a sucker for the science fiction films but I was not expecting much from the film. After being dumped in the February release spot, I imagined the film to be something far more stupid than it was. I’ll always be in for a film that is about a survivor trying to do just that and as long as the villains he’s chasing are threatening enough, I’ll buy it every time. The more I think about it the more I’m giving this success to the people behind the camera. In Smallville, Gough and Millar were always able to create a tone with Clark that made him likable, sympathetic, scared of what he is and of what he’s been asked to do. This tone continues on in this film and while I’m not sure how successful Alex Pettyfer is from scene to scene, the action scenes look great and he’s very believable in that aspect. Again I really had fun with this film and I feel like it’s vastly underrated and ignored by the movie going community. I liked it so much, I’m considering picking up the books, with the next volume to be called The Power of Six released in August of 2011.