After seeing Warm Bodies last summer, anytime I would see one of its two stars names in other projects, I was curious. This teen sci-fi movie features star Teresa Palmer and so I picked it up.
I Am Number Four (2011) Film Review
Picking up and leaving is something John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) knows well. Every new place he lives welcomes new people into his life but none of them know the real John. They all assume Henry (Timothy Olyphant) is his father when in fact Henry is a protector. John is not human but is instead an alien. Any living inhabitant from the planet is being hunted. When their life is again disrupted by a physical reaction John has to another death, the pair disappear.
This time, they settle in an off-the-map kind of town where John meets the beautiful Sarah (Dianna Aragon). Trouble doesn’t stay away for long and soon, John is forced to learn how to control new, powerful abilities and to protect the people he loves. Little does he realize this means he’ll need to find the rest of his race to defeat the force hunting them, beginning with Six (Palmer).
This movie has a strike against it for anyone tired of repetitive patterns. It falls (heavily) into the typical patterns of the norm sci-fi genre and all of the big explosions that comes with this. It also tends to take away good character expression. Nonetheless, this does thoroughly entertain. The script is pretty funny which helps to offset the one-too-many explosions. If one doesn’t mind cool special effects being the norm than honestly I am Number Four isn’t a bad way to spend an evening.
Stripped down to its minimum, the story isn’t anything unique (hero coming of age) however, for some reason, the ambiguous end does impress. I think because I don’t usually see popcorn flicks end in this way. The fact that writers end things without everything being sorting perfectly (likely in the hopes there’d be sequels) is interesting. I like all of the characters; likely some of this is bias since I did like Pettyfer in Beastly as well as Olyphant and of course, Palmer. Combined, the cast is quite good together and gives audiences some charismatic personalities. John is an interesting hero. Six, unfortunately doesn’t have enough screen time; she’s a fun, kick-butt kind of girl in the same sort of tradition as Black Widow.
The action sequences are fun in the tradition of something like The Hunger Games. The choreography is really quite something. If you like this particular variety of filmmaking or are just looking for something fun in the same vein as Cowboys and Aliens or any of the popular sci-fi “teen films” (Jumper) then this might be just the movie for you. It “pops” with excitement and as I already mention, I d0 love the cast. In short, it’s a terrific little movie, purely for entertainment purposes.
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Content: the creatures sent to fill John and his fellow comrades are frightening – they destroy everything in their path and also travel with a terrifying beast that they unleash on unsuspecting victims. Victims are hurled across rooms, shot, stabbed or dismembered any number of ways. Not everyone makes it out alive because of this. There is little sensuality, but a scene or two may bother some viewers. Minor profanity plays a role in the script. The film is PG13.