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Movie Review: I Am Number Four

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This is a movie that is well written; written in a way that one can’t believe would happen in the real world. I Am Number Four is science fiction the way it was meant to be; at its best! The script reminds us of those library and magazine rack days of our youth, when we still had hope in our hearts for travel in time and space! In those days, heroes of science fiction, and too, the comic heroes, had names like John Jones, or Valentine Smith. I Am Number Four has such a hero, a hero with super powers, in John Smith.

Talk about a hero! John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is tall and out of this world handsome – he waves to little kids! Soft-spoken, and kind; he befriends the downtrodden. Talk about your casting!

For most of the movie John Smith lives in Paradise, Ohio. He goes to high school there. When the cruel and vanity-stricken football fellows pick on young Mark, soon to be best-friend Mark (Jake Abel), John Smith is there to defend. Mark’s father, we come to learn, is missing; he spent his days in pursuit of ancient visitors from space; his whereabouts are now unknown.

Symbolism, and foreshadowing; It’s like its supposed to be! The cruel football boys – off season at the moment – strikingly resemble the ugly, evil, grinning space villains, here to end the world as we know it. We aren’t surprised when John Smith finds a girl-buddy in Sarah (Dianna Agron) who has an affinity for photography. She may, I humbly suggest, represent the on-looker. That is, us. There seems to be a lot of journalist in the lovely Sarah. Backdrops for her photos include news clipping from the Middle East. It figures.

A good science fiction hero, John Smith has a delightful puppy – a strong and sturdy beagle. The beagle might metamorphosize at some point, but why should I spoil the surprise?

All acting, without exception, is flawless. The cinematographer is brilliant. The sets and locations are brilliant. If you get a chance, notice the odd selection of old houses scattered here and there throughout the picture.They   add something to an already fine movie.

Science fiction buffs, dinosaur buffs (Jurassic Park reminiscence), super-hero buffs — or those who just esteem a good movie, well delivered and action packed — will be satisfied; there is great writing in the world! I seldom have enjoyed a movie more.

Writing credits
Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, and Marti Noxon wrote the screenplay.
Jobie Hughes & James Frey wrote the novel Pittacus Lore.

Produced by Michael Bay with Chris Bender and Emily Berger.
Original Music by Trevor Rabin.
Cinematography by Guillermo Navarro.
Film Editing by Vince Filippone and Jim Page.

Casting by Deborah Aquila and Mary Tricia Wood.

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About John Lake

John Lake had a long and successful career in legitimate and musical theater. He moved up into work behind the camera at top motion pictures. He has done a smattering of radio, and television John joined the Blogcritics field of writers owing to a passion for the liberal press, himself speaking out about the political front, and liberal issues. Now the retired Mr. Lake has entered the field of motion picture, television, and video game (now a daily gamer!) critique. His writing is always innovative and immensely readable!