I Am Number Four Books-to-Movie Report

Did you read the book? Watch the movie? I know this posting is a little late but better late than never. Remember that this month’s Books-to-Movie Challenge is the 2011 version of I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. I Am Number Four is the first book in the Lorien Legacies.

I felt like the film got off to a bit of a rough start. John Smith’s character was supposed to be nondescript, never drawing attention to himself but the opening sequence of the film made John seem more like the most popular boy in school, not someone who was finally allowing himself to have some friends. That being said, I thought the film redeemed itself after John and Henri headed to Paradise.

I loved Alex Pettyfer as John Smith, after the opening scene he pulled off the slightly awkward teen who didn’t understand what was happening to him. The last two films I have seen with Alex Pettyfer has impressed me with his acting ability. While he is sexy, he doesn’t rely solely on his looks to pull off the character he is portraying.

The character of Sarah Hart I struggled with. I liked her in the novel, she wasn’t whiny, she tried to help John as much as possible and really wanted better things for her life. In the film she came off as weak and almost a useless accessories to John Smith, especially during the alien attack. I don’t know if it was the acting by Dianna Agron or just the way the script was written but I was very disappointed in the film version of Sarah.

One character I unexpectedly ended up liking was Mark James. He went from the typical dumb jock trying to intimidate and bully the new kid his ex-girlfriend liked to doing what he could to assist John to defeat the aliens and save his own life. I felt the film briefly touched upon this but I didn’t think it was fully portrayed in the film. I am sure some of that had to do with the time factor, never enough time in a film to fit in everything from the novel but it was one of my favorite elements in the novel.

The biggest difference between the novel and the film, of course, was the ending. The novel had a lot more Mogadorian warriors and descriptively detailed how they would steal the soul or essence of every living thing, leaving the area ravaged. However, I can understand how this would be difficult to portray in film (without costing a fortune in CGI costs) and felt like I Am Number Four ended on a climactic note.

Final thoughts, I liked both the film and the novel even though they were very different at the end. What did you think? Did you like one more than the other?

One Reply to “I Am Number Four Books-to-Movie Report”

  1. I had seen the movie when it first came out on dvd and I liked it so when you posted the challenge about the book I was excited to read it. I thought the book was much better than the movie! I then read the second book and thought it was also great. The only bad part is now having to wait for the 3rd book in the series to come out in August.
    I thought that all the characters were better in the book than in the movie. The characters are pretty superficial compared to the characters in the book. So are the relationships, especially John and Henry’s.
    Besides the very obvious deviations with the endings, the way the movie portrayed John developing his legacies was quite different from the book. The movie had him mostly working with and discovering them by himself whereas in the book this was something he and Henry did together, that Henry helped him develop, strengthen, and practice with.

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