I Am Number Four
Reason for the Rating: Intense sequences of violence and action, and for language.
Plot Summary: A teenage alien must change his identity to keep from being killed by his enemies.
PopFam Recommends: This one's got some interesting elements that are worth discussing with your kids...but it's a rental at best.
Superman meets Twilight is truly the best way to describe I Am Number Four. Sounds odd, but if you like those movies, and would like to see a merging of the two, you might like I Am Number Four. But, if you already know the stories and have had enough...well, you'll probably want to skip it.
Some years ago, nine children were sent to earth from the planet Lorien, as their planet was being destroyed by the Mogadorians. Sound familiar? These children were scattered all over earth, and each has a Lorien warrior protector. Unfortunately, three of the children and their protectors have been killed by the Mogadorian, who are unnaturally tall, bald, and have very sharp teeth. Number Four is next.
Number Four is John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), a high school student who just wants to have friends and a home. But, with the Mogadorians looking for him, that's just not really an option. After Number Three is killed, John's protector, Henri (Timothy Olyphant) moves them to Paradise, a small town in Ohio where John discovers some of his unusual powers, also known as legacies. He has incredible strength, is quick and agile, and has lights in his hands. Which come in very "handy" when the lights go out...which is quite often in this movie. Those lights, though, aren't just for seeing in the dark. They act as a force field of sorts, whereby he can repel people, fire, bullets, or anything else threatening his life.
John also experiences something else that's new in Paradise. Love. Upon entering high school, he meets Sarah (Dianna Agron), who is not only the prettiest girl in school, but the love interest of the Sheriff's son, who doesn't take kindly to the new boy in town. John has quite a bit stacked against him, especially since the Mogadorian are closing in on him just as he finds his true love. What is a love-torn alien to do?
This movie had potential, if someone would have re-written the script. Where are those other Lorien children? Number Six does show up at the end, but her character simply does not compliment the movie. While John and Sarah have this new-love innocence, Number Six is hard and cynical. Leather and studs, riding a brand new, shiny red motorcycle. She makes them look, well, silly really. The movie would have been more interesting if it had been less about John and Sarah and more about finding the other six Loriens and defeating the Mogadorians together. But maybe that's another movie.
As you would expect with a Michael Bay (Transformers) and D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) movie, the computer graphics in I Am Number Four are amazing. There's a lot of fighting and explosions, so those with lots of testosterone will appreciate the movie in a different way than some of us. The rest of us can just enjoy the movie for the entertainment it provides.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• John's parents left him "legacies," which were his special powers. What kind of legacy have your parents left for you? How are they similar or dissimilar from the kind John's parents left for him?
• The themes of good and evil are strong in the movie. In what ways do you fight the dark, or evil, in the world around you?
• John is an alien whose parents sent him to earth to protect it from the Mogadorians. The Bible says that we are aliens, not of this world. In what ways do you experience this truth?
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