Science fiction and fantasy
I Am Number Four
directed by D. J. Caruso
Unfortunately for John his relationship with Sarah brings trouble. Not only does she snap him, their growing friendship also makes the head jock jealous, and he warns John off her. Then John's special powers begin to manifest themselves in ways that are difficult to keep hidden. This brings the vicious Mogadorians sniffing around. John knows he should run, but how can he bear to leave town if it means leaving behind the new friends he's made and who he's begun to care deeply about?
To begin with the special effects are fairly subtle, downplayed in favour of John's interactions with the other young people. He may be alien, but Alex Pettyfer plays the role of John with a decent dose of the sulky teenager rebelling against the strictures of his cautious guardian, and it's a very human performance. Sam is determined to find out what happened to his real father, and he turns up at unexpected moments throughout. I particularly liked Sam's persistence and his curiosity in the face of danger.
This is a touching coming of age story, romantic and a little soppy but full of engaging characters, except for the jocks who are stereotypically over-aggressive. The bald, tattooed Mogadorians also suffer from being quite one-dimensional. Then about two-thirds of the way in come the giant flying alien beasts, colourful lazer gun battles, a biker woman who moves like a ninja, and massive explosions. It's like a completely different film has been tacked on at the end, and the special effects go into overdrive. It gives the movie pace and some interesting visuals. But it's also too predictable. I Am Number Four is a sweet, comforting movie that starts off intriguing and then moves into a formulaic alien-bashing by numbers deal. It's main strengths are the characters of John, Henri, Sam and Sarah, but sadly it doesn't always play to these strengths.
25th June 2011
If you like this, try:Push by Paul McGuigan
Psychics In Hong Kong rush to protect a unique woman from a shadowy government agency.
The Covenant by Renny Harlin
A group of young men are gifted with magic powers. But if they can't resist the temptation to use them, those powers could tear them apart.