I Am Number Four DI
2011 Running time: 109 Certificate: 12 Rating: 3
KA-I-Am-Number-Four

Synopsis

Superior teen sci-fi thrills are provided in this fast-moving adventure following an extra-terrestrial in human form (British up-and-comer Alex Pettyfer) who is just one step ahead of alien assassins tracking him down on Earth. Glee star Dianna Agron plays the smalltown girl of his dreams while Timothy Olyphant is the mentor/protector who equips his young charge with the skills to face down his nemesis. Director DJ Caruso keeps the action rolling while Pettyfer ensures his first steps in Hollywood are big ones.

Director

  • DJ Caruso

Cast

  • Alex Pettyfer

  • Dianna Agron

  • Timothy Olyphant

  • Teresa Palmer

  • Kevin Durand

Review

It's quite a stretch from modelling macs for Burberry to facing down towering aliens who are determined that your number - in this case the number four - is up.

Rising British star and ex-model Alex Pettyfer - after starring in the kid thriller Stormbreaker and nifty British horror Tormented - is now playing with the big boys: director DJ Caruso (Eagle Eye) and producer Michael Bay (Transformers, Armageddon).

In his first big Hollywood role, the 20-year-old actor is anonymous college kid John Smith, a bleached itinerant who travels the country with his youthful dad (Olyphant) in tow.

In reality, John is a space-trucking refugee from the planet Lorien who dots around the globe evading the evil Mogadorians, a race of abnormally tall creatures with interesting tattoos and plans for world domination.

They've already caught up with three teenage Lorien renegades... and dealt with them horribly using a big knife. In case you wondered, John is number four.

Unfortunately, he's just settled down in the Ohio backwater of Paradise... and is even taking the first tentative steps to courtship with college classmate and amateur photographer Sarah (Agron).

Blend in, he's told by Olyphant's mentor... but that doesn't stop him pile-driving a school bully with a football and throwing a couple of gurning thugs into a tree.

For a DJ Caruso movie, this is an improvement on Eagle Eye but not quite up there with Disturbia. Yet there's plenty to savour, not least a nice build-up as we watch the unpleasant Mogadorians home in on their target.

There's also some nifty off-screen violence - a couple of Moga-henchman are gorily despatched with a couple of snooker ball-come-circular saws that are dropped down their gullets and a school janitor's floor cleaner finds itself mopping up what's left of its operator.

Pettyfer, while not exactly presenting a calling card for the Royal Shakespeare Company, is fine, and sweaty-palmed teens will appreciate the 11th hour arrival of Australian hottie Teresa Palmer as the Ducati-mounted Number Six.

It doesn't go anywhere you don't expect but even if there are no surprises a familiar tale is told with wit and invention... and there's a flagrant sequel pitch left dangling at the end.

This number is definitely not up.

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