Do you know that old movie rule that you subconsciously decide whether you're going to enjoy a film or not within the first ten minutes? Well, it wasn't true this time, because after the opening sequence, I was pretty sure I was going to hate "I Am Number Four". Thankfully, I was in for a pleasant surprise.
It all starts with bad CGI-monsters and some guys in Star Trek make-up chasing people around in the jungle. We then cut to some jocks doing tricks on jet skis and some bland blonde girls admiring them - and I thought this is going to be terrible. Then the story picks up and the movie gets better from there.
The story involves a couple of characters and mysteries, but is never too complicated. After the initial jet ski scene, the main character actually turns out to be played quite charmingly by Alex Pettyfer. He's supported by his mentor/protector (solid as always: Timothy Olyphant). Glee's Dianna Agron plays Number Four's love interest. She comes across very natural, so that the love story that unfolds is actually engaging instead of vomit-inducing like that of that other movie with the whining Vampires and the shirtless Werewolves.
Of course, "I Am Number Four" is by no means a great movie. The CGI sucks in places and the make-up of the bad guys is just awful. Characters are stereotypical, things fall into place way too conveniently and one has the feeling that a good junk of the original novel has just been crammed together to (barely) fit into the running time of a popcorn movie.
However, I think we can all agree that it would be silly to actually expect a masterpiece, considering the movie's premise. For what it is, "I Am Number Four" is an entertaining little fantasy flick for teenagers and undemanding twenty-somethings. Add to that the fact that this movie is neither a sequel nor a remake, that it's not based on a comic book, a TV series, a computer game or toys, and it's enough to lift "I Am Number Four" heads and shoulders above its genre competitors.