Sci-Fi | Action | Thriller
Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Marti Noxon
Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron, Callan McAuliffe, Kevin Durand, Jake Abel
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, and for language)
Extraordinary teen John Smith (Pettyfer) is a fugitive on the run from ruthless enemies sent to destroy him. Changing his identity, moving from town to town with his guardian Henri (Olyphant), John is always the new kid with no ties to his past. In the small Ohio town he now calls home, John encounters unexpected, life-changing events-his first love (Agron), powerful new abilities and a connection to the others who share his incredible destiny.
“You have no idea of what I’m capable of.” – John Smith
Since Jobie Hughes and James Frey (under the pen name Pittacus Lore) wrote the novel I Am Number Four, we have both read and reviewed that, as well as followed the developments of the big-screen adaptation directed by D.J. Caruso. Needless to say, I was looking forward to checking out the Blu-ray of this film.
The screenplay for I Am Number Four was penned by Smallville creators Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and it could not be more obvious throughout the entire film. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, Gough and Millar have a certain way of weaving a good adolescent alien story and making it palatable for even those who are least fond of science fiction or have problems with suspending disbelief.
The story focuses on an alien named John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) who came to Earth to escape a race of evil aliens called The Mogadorians who wiped out his people and destroyed his home planet of Lorien. John travels around Earth with his guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant), trying to blend in and escape the notice of those evil aliens who are attempting to track down and kill the survivors of their massacre on John’s home planet. John was one of nine children sent to Earth to evade The Mogs, and they can only be killed in a certain sequence. As the movie begins, Number Three is killed and John is the titular Number Four.
The movie starts off a bit slow, and gives you the feeling that it may end up being a run-of-the-mill teen drama, but it eventually builds and adds some very cool action sequences and delves a bit more into the mythos of the Lorien children and their legacies. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of teen drama in this film, and there’s no doubt that girls will dig the blossoming romance between John and Sarah (Dianna Agron). Agron does a decent job in her role as Sarah, but Teresa Palmer‘s arrival in the film as Number 6 is a breath of ass kicking fresh air. Aside from the fact that Palmer is absolutely stunning and a great actress to begin with, her turn as Number 6 proves that she’s definitely cut out to be a believable action chick as well.
Pettyfer’s performance in the film is mediocre at best and based only on this film, I would say that he’s destined to be this generation’s Casper Van Dien, making a few mid-sized splashes on the big-screen, making a few girls swoon over his chiseled jaw and six pack, and then vanishing into the ether. Callan McAuliffe does a great job portraying Sam, who both lends John a hand and offers up some good comic relief here and there, throughout the course of the film. I guess you could say that Jake Abel did a good job at playing John’s high school foe, and tormentor of John’s friend Sam. While his performance seemed to hearken back to the stereotypical 1980s movie bully, he was a big enough jerk that I wanted to punch him in his smug face, so I guess that would be considered a ‘mission accomplished’ on his part.
The screenplay follows the events in the book fairly close. The biggest omission is the detailed background on the events that took place on John’s home planet that led to the current situation. The viewer is left to wonder why the tall bald guys are trying to kill the kids and why are the kids numbered. The lack of background makes the movie somewhat shallow and lacking in motivation.
Now, on to the list of everything that’s included in the combo pack and my overall star rating for the I Am Number Four (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy).
• Becoming Number 6
1-Disc BD & 3-Disc BD Combo Pack (includes all DVD bonus PLUS):
• 6 Deleted Scenes, with introductions by Director D.J. Caruso
o Extended Strangers in Paradise
o Sam’s Mom
o Worth Mentioning
o Power Prank
o Trying to Connect
o Extended Warsaw Basement
The video quality of the Blu-ray is brilliant and clear, and all of the effects, most of which are light/energy based look excellent in high-def. The DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack is great, dialogue is crisp and sound effects from mild to “in your face” are very clear.
I give I Am Number Four (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Three out of Five Stars.
I Am Number Four (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) is available now. You can order your copy at Amazon using the link below!