You can see why Spielberg liked the story: nine infant aliens with extraordinary powers being hunted down on Earth by the evil invaders who destroyed their home planet.
And just as he proved with Disturbia, director DJ Caruso is an incredibly sure hand at old-school adventures. His smartest move in this romantic thriller is assembling an immensely likeable cast – none of them are stars, all of them leave us wanting more.
Emerging as a solid screen presence, Alex Pettyfer’s teen superhero Number Four finds himself pretending to be a normal boy in an Ohio school populated by the usual suspects: he falls for the shy hottie (Glee’s Dianna Agron), takes on the bullys (led by Jake Abel) and makes friends with the lonely nerd (Callan McAuliffe).
Despite obvious parallels, the core courtship holds its own against Twilight, largely thanks to the sweet, subtle Agron as the girl who makes Number Four understand earthly passion.
Like Edward Cullen, Number Four has superhuman strength. Unlike Cullen, he also has telekinetic blasters for hands and isn’t tempted to drink his girlfriend’s blood.
The bare fangs here belong to memorable villains the Mogadorians. Styled up with tattoos, trenchcoats and piranha gnashers, they’re also handed a weirdly malicious sense of humour by the script.
After the movie cruises through standard-issue coming-of-age themes, the action arrives with a blockbusting footballfield finale.
Time for Teresa Palmer’s Number Six to gatecrash, doing a killer Terminatrix impression (black leather, red Ducati, guns). We have a feeling they’ll all be back..
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An enjoyable teen rom-thriller that never swerves off the beaten path but always keeps its footing. Expect a franchise, and career boosts for Pettyfer and Agron.