This is not a self-proclaiming sequel. I Am Number Four is just a film with a really bad title, but it may as well be a sequel to any number of teen superhero style films which have popped up in the aftermath of the X-Men movies and the Harry Potter franchise. Teens have always wanted to feel special, and films have been accurately depicting this agony since the 50s, but recently it is being done nearly exclusively with the pairing of superpowers. From Push to Jumper, this has all been covered before.
This time around the special abilities are paired with the recent rise in alien films, and our protagonist simply looks like a human teenager. In fact, he is one of the last remaining in an invaded alien race. Having escaped to Earth in his childhood, an alien going by John Smith (Alex Pettyfer), is the fourth of a handful of children who are the last remaining members of an alien race. Protected by his guardian (Timothy Olyphant), John is forced to move whenever his secret identity is leaked.
Too much of this film builds up to the confrontation which occurs when John’s identity is revealed and the invading aliens finally find him. There is far too much downtime, waiting and hiding of the identity. Perhaps the biggest problem is that the script comes from writers accustomed to the confines of “Smallville” scripts, forever putting off the explosive confrontations that film needs. There is no need to drag out the soap opera romances in delay of action quite as long as this film does.