The book, I Am Number Four, was both riveting and exhilarating to read! I jumped into an incredible adventure full of action and was drawn into a moving love story about John Smith and Sarah Hart. That's why I was so disappointed when the movie didn't reach the standards of how I imagined it would be in my head.
The books received mixed reviews because the story was a bit out there. Some critics thought it wasn’t logical and scientific enough. Others said it was the typical “boy meets girl” story but who cares what the critics think? Right? Apparently, some people did because the movie didn’t do so well.
What Was the Book About?
The book was about a teenage boy named John Smith a.k.a Number Four, who was one of the ten Garde children that were sent to Earth to preserve the Loric race. Each child had different powers and personalities. The Mogadorians, an evil alien race, were determined to track them down and take their legacies or powers for themselves. When one child was killed, the other person's insignia was burned into their skin.
In the beginning of the movie, Numbers 1, 2, and 3 were killed by the Mogadorians, which meant Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) was next. He and his guardian (Timothy Olyphant) had to keep moving so they wouldn’t be captured. The whole movie revolved around them hiding from their enemies until John’s powers manifested to their full potential. Number Six, played by Teresa Palmer, was the female heroine who helped him to control his powers and fought alongside him against the Mogadorians. These are my suggestions on how to make I Am Number Four a better movie.
Number 1: More In-Depth Back Stories of the Characters
Everyone’s back story in the movie was too vague, so half of the audience was lost in the beginning. If you didn’t read the books, you wouldn’t understand what was going on. The characters in the movie were two dimensional and weren’t as interesting as the characters in the books.
Number 2: More special effects!
More creative special effects would have made it more suspenseful and given us more of an adrenaline rush. With better visual effects, Number Four's glowing hands could have looked more realistic so the audience could feel that his powers were real.
Number 3: Cut the Director Out!
D.J. Caruso directed the film and it was produced by Michael Bay, who should have directed it. Perhaps Steven Spielberg or Chris Columbus, who directed Percy Jackson and the Olympians, could have done a better job. Michael Bay knows how to make huge explosions and excitement come to life on screen, Steven Spielberg knows how to create compelling characters that evoke emotion out of the audience, and Chris Columbus has a vast imagination and a great eye for the extraordinary. Any of these three would have what it takes to do justice to I Am Number Four.
Number 4: Someone Else Should Have Played Number Four
Michael B. Jordan
Okay, Jordan as Human Torch in Fantastic Four didn't go as planned but give him another chance! He is handsome, strong, and athletic and played an awesome superhero in the 2012 movie called Chronicle. The dark superhero movie featured Jordan as Steve, a popular high school senior who gained telekinetic powers from an alien object. He shared the telekinetic and flying powers with one of his classmates, Andrew and his cousin Matt. Despite their differences, they bonded through their powers. His character Steve was full of raw emotion, strength, and integrity. When the other guys were going psychotic with their powers, Steve remained the sane and strong one.
Tragically, Steve was killed when the insecure and bullied teen, Andrew, accidentally struck him with lightning when Steve was trying to keep him from doing something stupid. It was so devastating to see Steve killed because he was such a good person. The ability to evoke such strong emotions from the audience in a movie is why Michael B. Jordan would be my pick for John Smith.
Logan Lerman could also play John Smith because he is great at bringing emotional characters onto the big screen. He played the adventurous and daring Percy Jackson who rebelled against the god of the sea. He could bring a new twist to the film because he doesn’t look very strong but his ability to portray strong characters makes him a good candidate for John Smith.
Dylan O'Brien was known as the hilarious sidekick Stiles on Teen Wolf but he has proven to be a versatile actor when he became a dark and haunting version of Stiles in Season 3. He gave an amazing performance in the lead role in the Maze Runner movies. Plus, he has a great sense of humor and he can be as athletic and strong as John Smith.
Number 5: Less Sap, More Slap!
There was too much emphasis on the love story between John Smith and Sarah Hart and not enough on the action scenes between the Mogadorians and the Garde children. The incredible fight scenes came way too late in the movie.
Number 6: Not So Scary Monsters!
The monsters could have been creepier and scarier, like the deadly, silent aliens from Predator. They could have been more realistic and believable. The creatures didn't even look like aliens. They looked like humans that had gills for a nose and shark teeth!
I Am Number Four was not a complete disaster. It was expected to be the next Twilight because it had a love story, action scenes, and supernatural powers but the movie fell short. Alex Pettyfer and Diana Argon were good looking people with decent acting skills but it takes more than good looks to make a successful movie. Alex lacked the emotion, versatility, and strength that John Smith had in the books. When making the movie, there should have been more thought and consideration into how to portray the characters and their powers.