When I was a kid, I always wished and hoped I had super powers. Frankly, I did not even think my parents were my parents, rather hosts for somebody who would eventually change the world. Somewhere along the way, I grew up (kinda) but always wondered what would happen if things were different. I Am Number Four explores the story of a teenager who could change the world with his powers if he can simply stay alive long enough. By the way, I still don’t think my parents were my parents.
Two men (played by Greg Townley and Reuben Langdon) are asleep in some remote part of the world. All of the sudden, they feel something is wrong and wake up. They find nothing, but then suddenly one of the men is grabbed by an unknown monster and taken out of the cabin by force. The other man witnessing this horrid event has no choice but to try and run to safety.
Through the jungle he goes, trying to find a haven for himself. All the sudden he is trapped as the unknown monster catches up with him. The man’s throat is grabbed and an amulet is ripped from his chest. Then with one fell thrust, the man is knifed and his life force is drained out. The screen goes to black and we are thrust into another story involving a teenager named Daniel (played by Alex Pettyfer)on the beach and having the time of his life.
Daniel spends his days jet skiing and his nights partying at the beach. On this particular night, he meets a girl named Nicole (played by Emily Wickersham) under the stars in the ocean. All of the sudden, he is pulled under water as a voice whispers to him, “This is what is coming for you.”. Daniel wakes up and finds himself alone on the beach. There is now a large pronounced scar below two fainter ones (in the shape of the same amulet we saw in the first scene) on his leg. Number Three is dead.
As it turns out, Daniel and his guardian, Henri (played by Timothy Olyphant)are on the run from the evil race, Mogadorian. They must hop from place to place to stay invisible. So not to suffer the same fate as Number Three. For Daniel is Number Four and the next stop for these two is Paradise, Ohio (south of Dayton). Daniel needs a new name too: John Smith.
In a house far away, a woman (played by Teresa Palmer) decides to set it on fire. I’m guessing she will become important later on. Meanwhile, John and Henri arrive in Paradise. There John will find new friends like Sam (played by Callan Aulifee), new loves like Sarah (played by Dianna Agron), and even a new dog. But can he stay away from the Mogadorians led by a devilish commander (played by Kevin Durand)?
Going into I Am Number Four, I wasn’t expecting much. It did not do very well at the box office and it failed to catch the public eye. But, as long as it was not as bad as Ecks vs Sever, Street Fighter or some other fruity popcorn flick, I would be okay. Honestly, it is a very good flick. The story is adopted from an ongoing series and it brings likeable characters, a decent plotline and a path that one that you want move forward with.
The crew of Four also cast a well-acted group of actors and actresses. Teresa Palmer and Kevin Durand stole the scenes they were responsible for while I also enjoyed Callan Aulifee put in a very respectable supporting performance. I am not quite sold on Alex Pettyfer but he was likeable enough to side with. The only problem I had with the movie was that was looking for more. More story, more development (especially from Timothy Olyphant’s character) and maybe less reliance on special effects.
The video is in 1.85:1 widescreen presentation at 1080p resolution. As hoped, the movie does look great. For the most part, it is a beautiful movie and has a great bit of detail and everything flows very well. The only issue I found was some of the nighttime scenes, I had serious trouble figuring out what exactly was going on due to the flicker effect they used. Sure, this was done on purpose but it became very disorienting and left me confused.
For the audio portion, we get a 5.1 DTS-HD track for English (also included are 5.1 Dolby Digital Mixes for Spanish and French as well as a 2.0 English DVS track). This sucker is loud. Action scenes will absolutely rock your speakers and probably your socks too. Sound effects are dynamic and dialog is tidy and clear. A couple of the early scenes do have slight volume issues in the contrast between dialog and action, but that’s the only minor complaint. Subtitles are also included for English, Spanish and French.
- Automatic Trailers: Real Steel, Pirates of Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and ABC Shows on DVD.
- Deleted Scenes 18:58: Six deleted scenes are included here. The director DJ Caruso introduces each of these clips and then the scene rolls. None of these scenes really add anything to the proceedings but one can see the desire from the director that he didn’t want to cut them out. Of note, Karen Allen (of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Starman fame) appears in an uncredited part playing Sam’s Mom.
- Becoming Number Six 11:44: Teresa Palmer is your host for this featurette as she takes you inside the character of Number Six. She had to change her temperament a lot for this movie as she is usually very warm and friendly. A lot of her high-explosive scenes are visited along with some pre-visualization work.
- Bloopers 3:16: A nice blooper reel highlighting primarily the work (or dis-work) of Timothy Oliphant and Kevin Durand.
- DVD+Digital Copy: 2 additional dvds are included with the blu-ray. The first is a dvd copy of the movie that includes the Becoming Number Six Featurette and Bloopers. The second is a digital copy. Appreciate the 3-disc case, but it seems like a waste at times.
A second book is set to drop in August of this year. It will focus on Number Seven, a new character. However, I am not entirely sure that a second movie will ever surface. The movie did do one hundred fifty million worldwide on a sixty million dollar budget but disappointing domestic sales might curb any thought of a sequel. Hopefully word of mouth and blu-ray/dvd sales will change the people with the money’s minds.
The movie is a very pleasant surprise. It has a solid story, likeable character and an excellent cast. Furthermore, the disc has amazing video and audio along with a couple of interesting extras to create a well rounded package. I give this movie a solid recommendation and while I don’t expect everybody to run out and buy this one, I hope enough people take a chance on it. I think they will not be disappointed. Enjoy.