“I am Number Four,” starring Alex Pettyfer, Dianna Agron and Timothy Olyphant, pits good alien versus bad alien in the film adaptation of the recently released book of the same title.
Like most young adult novels turned into films, “Number Four” follows the same equation of boy with super powers plus quiet alt-girl that goes nowhere but adds a generous amount of violence and explosions, courtesy of producer Michael Bay. At some points in the film this equation works, at others it falls flat.
The film revolves around Number Four (Pettyfer), an alien from the planet Lorien who was sent to Earth to hide from the evil Mogadorians, who seek to kill him and the others from Lorien who survived the destruction of the planet.
He is one of a group of nine who have the ability to defeat the Mogadorians but his help is beginning to wear thin because three have already been killed.
The film opens with Number Three being tracked down and killed and you soon realize that Number Four is next. Henri (Olyphant) is Number Four’s protector and a former warrior from Lorien who moves Number Four across the country in order to keep him safe. They head to Paradise, Ohio, where Henri and Number Four assume they will be safe.
In the small town of Paradise, the film turns into a quasi “Twilight,” except the vampire is an alien and the shy angsty newcomer is the one with super powers. The film also, strangely, uses some very cliché high school stereotypes that the script even acknowledges at points.
Number Four eventually meets Sarah (Agron), the quiet, small town girl who dated the high school quarterback before a bad break up. Number Four also meets Sam (Callan McAuliffe), the self-proclaimed “computer nerd” who admits he is a strange fellow, and is picked on by the high school quarterback because of it.
One of the film’s strengths is the development of Number Four throughout the film. The other characters had a typical high school teen drama feel written all over them and even felt forced at times, but Number Four, with his protector Henri worked well.
However, as the film moves toward the climax, it becomes very predictable. A final showdown with the Mogadorians occurs at the high school, where Number Six, a punky, leather clad girl with a slight Australian accent shows up to help in the battle. The final battle fell short of expectations but not short on special effects explosions, something that was disappointing in the end.
If this film does well in the box office, expect a sequel within the next few years based on the soon-to-be released book, “The Power of Six.” If that is the case, be prepared for yet another teen super hero drama that is predictable and stereotypical.