The film I Am Number Four was released on February 18, 2011. It is the first installment of a six book series of young adult science fiction. It was also the first movie by Dreamworks which was released through Touchstone/Disney Pictures. Unfortunately, only one of the main characters was an actual teenager at the time of filming.
Henri (Timothy Olyphant) is the guardian of John (Alex Pettyfer) a refugee from a planet which was attacked by the Mogadorians, a tattooed, vampirish looking bunch of bad aliens. John is the fourth of nine children sent to Earth for concealment and to protect the planet. While hiding out in rural Ohio, John meets a girl, Sarah (Dianna Agron), at school who is interested in photography and a boy, Sam (Callan McAuliffe), who used to travel with his missing father looking for “ancient aliens”.
There is also a jock/bully who targets both John and Sam. I can’t put my finger on anything specific that I found to be enjoyable except maybe for the dog in the movie that ingratiates itself into John’s heart. I do like good action scenes in my sci-fi movies, but the ones here seemed boring and comic bookish. I did like the scenery and the cinematography. Some of the CGI could have been improved on.
Although I’ve mentioned this before, if you’re going to make films for the young adult market (13-18 years old), then hire age appropriate actors. The lead actor here was 21 years old pretending to be 17. He failed miserably. We know young adults can act, so give them a chance. I can only give this 3.5 stars out of 5 due to the lack of originality for the story and the use of older actors masquerading as teenagers.