PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for language.
Action/Adventure, Science Fiction/Fantasy
February 18, 2011
Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Kevin Durand
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CHRISTIAN MOVIE REVIEW
I Am Number Four
By Hannah Goodwyn
- Think Twilight with aliens. That's what you get from this sci-fi flick.
Based on a best-selling young adult sci-fi novel with the same name, this new film from director D.J. Caruso is a letdown. For the non-fan, non-teenage moviegoer, I Am Number Four will not deliver a good cinematic experience; beyond that, its violent content warrants a strong caution.
The Movie in a Minute
John is a hunted teenager who masks his true identity and powers to escape a ruthless enemy, the Mogadorians. He is number four, in a line of nine humanoid aliens from the decimated planet of Lorien. To destroy the nine, the Mogadorians (Mogs) must kill each of them in order and John is next. Moving from town to town, John has never felt at peace. It isn’t until he arrives in a small Ohio town that he feels at home. There he meets his forever love, discovers his new, unbridled abilities, and faces his hunters.
What Works -- and Doesn't -- in I Am Number Four
Ultimate creative responsibility rests with the director, and in this case, it’s D.J. Caruso (who also directed Eagle Eye and Disturbia, two fairly good thrillers). Unfortunately, I Am Number Four's weak points weren’t ironed out before release time. Part of this sci-fi's unfortunate problem is its script. The film has a Twilight feel to it, but the script itself reminds me of a Smallville episode, which makes sense given the fact that the screenwriters wrote for the TV show.
The other issue is the flick’s intensely violent scenes, including explosions, a vicious, razor ball put in the mouth of a Mog victim, blood on the floor, and hand-to-hand fatalities. The film's very first scene is of Number Three’s execution by a blue-lit dagger. The alien teen is held in the air by his neck as a long blade goes through his chest. These details are disclosed to give you indication of the level of violence in I Am Number Four. Its PG-13 rating also is for language, including an instance of profanity.
The cast of I Am Number Four held its own. John is played by Alex Pettyfer, a young British actor who also stars in the upcoming release, Beastly, with Vanessa Hudgens. His leading lady is Sarah (Dianna Agron, from TV’s hit show, Glee), and his human sidekick, Sam, is played by Callan McAuliffe (Flipped). Aussie actress Teresa Palmer is Number Six, John’s powerful ally against the Mogadorians, a band of alien killers with fish gills for noses and tattooted heads. They are lead by a ferocious commander, played by Kevin Durand (Robin Hood). Timothy Olyphant (Justified, Hitman), is Henri, John’s protector, and perhaps the most likeable character (besides the dog). Olyphant’s heroics and comedic moments are major pluses in this generally uninteresting film. The same complements could also be said of Callan McAuliffe as Sam.
In the End
I Am Number Four definitely has an intensity to it, but that’s weighed down by the flick's uncreative dialogue and over-the-top alien-incited violence. Unless you are a fan of the book series, it’s not worth seeing.
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Hannah Goodwyn is the Family and Entertainment producer for CBN.com. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.
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