The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Four could be next book/movie smash

By Ciaran Lambert/tr news editor

In the ’80s, teen movies were all about teens being rebellious and teachers telling students not to “mess with the bull or you’ll get the horns.”

Alex Pettyfer portrays Number Four, one of nine teen aliens who are living on Earth, in the film I Am Number Four.
Photo courtesy Touchstone Pictures

In the ’90s, they were about cheerleading and turning ugly people into hotties, featuring 20-somethings playing teens.

Nowadays, teen movies made with teens are all about what is supernatural or scary and are often based on books, such as the Twilight Saga, Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and The Olympians.

But I Am Number Four sticks to its basics.

In this hybrid of Twilight meets Glee meets Smallville, I Am Number Four finds its strengths, weaknesses and, most importantly, its legs.

The film, based on a novel by Pitticus Lore, the pen name for authors James Frey and Jobie Hughes, follows the book quite accurately, albeit with changes.

Much like the Harry Potter franchise, I Am Number Four cuts and adjusts certain things to fit its time limits. Coming in at a little less than two hours, Four makes changes with characters, plotlines and flow.

The film opens with Number Three in the Amazon, running for his life after being attacked by the Mogadorians. Unfortunately for Three, the bad guys catch him and subsequently kill him.

And so begins the hunt for Number Four.

Four, played by Alex Pettyfer, explains nine teenage aliens are on Earth. He says they come from a planet called Lorien, which was destroyed by the Mogadorians.

Henri, Four’s mentor and guardian, played by Timothy Olyphant, relocates them to Paradise, Ohio, where Four changes his name once again, as they have been on the run forever.

Now John Smith, Four begins to enjoy Paradise and the wonders of a quiet town, or it’s the beauty of a quiet photographer named Sarah Hart, played by Dianna Agron.

John begins developing superpowers known as Legacies, and he, Sarah and Sam, played brilliantly by Callan McAuliffe, race to defeat the Mogadorians before they claim Earth as their own.

Pettyfer and McAuliffe use Four as their big break although Pettyfer is more famous in England. Both play their characters with just the right amount of boyish charm and sarcasm that helps move certain plots along.

McAuliffe’s Sam plays a great partner to Pettyfer’s John, especially when they go to save Henri with only John’s powers and Sam’s shotgun.

Agron and Olyphant are better known to American audiences than Pettyfer and McAuliffe. Agron is recognized for her role as Quinn Fabray on Glee while Olyphant can now be seen as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens on Justified. 

Both deliver performances that live up to the characters in the book and show that John has good friends when he needs them.

The performances are good, and while certain aspects were changed or deleted, the movie delivers a closer and more fulfilling adaptation than the last two Twilight movies.

With Harry Potter ending this summer and Twilight next winter, I Am Number Four may be an adequate replacement.

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