Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
|Featuring:||Dianna Agron (Sarah), Timothy Olyphant (Henri), Alex Pettyfer (Number Four), Teresa Palmer (Number Six), Kevin Durand (Mog Commander), more »|
|Producer:||DreamWorks Pictures, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg, more »|
|Distributor:||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
“from the director of ‘Disturbia’”
I’m sure many of us have watched television, seen a preview for a movie and said, “Is that movie even worth seeing?” That was my initial reaction when I first saw the previews for “I Am Number Four.” I wasn’t sure what I was signing up for when I decided to volunteer for this movie. However, I will say that, after viewing “I Am Number Four,” I’m glad that I decided to see this movie, despite the very disappointing previews.
The previews pretty much gave away the story, unfortunately. The story begins with Number 3, a Magadonian alien from the planet Lorian, being killed by a group of alien criminals known as the Mogs (each alien represents a number and must be destroyed in order). We are then introduced to our protagonist, John and his protector Henrie. Number 4 (aka John Smith) is also a Magadonian alien who’s always on the run from the Mogs, knowing full well that he is the next person to die. The only way John will be able to defeat the Mogs is if he, and the mysterious Number 6, gather the other five Magadonians (scattered all over Earth) to stop the Mogs from taking over the Earth.
Look, previews can either do one of two things. They can give away too much information and ruin the actual film, or they can give you just enough to peak your curiosity. When I saw the previews for this movie, I’ll admit, I was intrigued. The whole premise of the movie was kept under wraps, since it was first introduced to the public. I had read various comments from critics and other movie Web sites concerning this film, and this movie was not spoken of highly. I, honestly, didn’t believe I was going to like this film, at first, let alone enjoy it. So, imagine my surprise when I walked out of the film saying, “Whoah!”
The plot is fairly simple. I didn’t have to sit there with my clipboard and scratch my head like I usually do when I see a movie. The performances by both Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron are unbelievable. The chemistry between their two characters is just right, and I actually believed what they feel for each other. Though they’re few scenes where CGI is used, the scenes that do contain them are used with the highest quality of CGI I have seen since “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.
Violence: With any science-fiction film like “I Am Number Four,” there is always a good amount of violence. In this case, “I Am Number Four” contains a heavy amount of violence. Aside from Number 3 being killed at the beginning of the film, there are scenes involving major explosions, gun fights, stabbings, people being tossed around like stuffed animals, etc. There is so much violence in this film, mainly towards the end, that I cannot even list all of it.
Sex/Nudity: This is the only area of content where there isn’t much that I was concerned about. There are a couple scenes where John (Alex Pettyfer) and Sara (Diana Agron) kiss, but those scenes are brief. There is a scene at the beach where women are running around in cleavage-baring swimsuits. Lastly, I noticed a scene where John is having dinner with Sara and her parents, and they make a mild, sexual joke.
Profanity: I thought, especially for a teen movie with a PG-13 rating, that the profanity is relatively moderate. The most objectionable are 2 OMGs and 4 uses of “Jesus.” There is also vulgarity, including the word a** used on several occasions as well as sh*t, sh*t-hole, “tool,” and “p*ssy.”
At the beginning, and even towards the end, the whole film focuses on bullying and running away from problems. Bullying is a huge problem in many schools, today. According to sources, over half the children who are bullied in school are unlikely to report it to a teacher, the principal, or any other authority figure. In the movie, John has spent most of his life with Henrie, running away from their problems and from their bullies, the Mogs. At some point, John realizes that running away isn’t solving any problems, but only making matters worse.
For Christians, when we are faced with bullies and enemies, rejoice! Jesus told us to rejoice in times of persecution and when “men revile us for His Sake.” When Jesus was sitting in the prison, awaiting to crucifixion, the soldiers mocked him, beat him, and placed a crown of thorns on his head. He could’ve run. He could’ve called down a legion of angels to take him away from this abuse. But he didn’t. He trusted in God and knew that God was with Him and would protect him, and that, in the end, God would be victorious. Jesus said to his apostles:
“Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you, and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets” —Luke 6:22-23 (New International Version).
From a Christian perspective, sadly, I cannot recommend this film, because of the heavy amount of violence. This is definitely not a children’s movie, so parents, think twice before taking the children, or better yet, hire a babysitter. Mature teens and adults who enjoy a good science-fiction movie will definitely want to see this.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.