John (Alex Pettyfer) is a teenager with special powers. I don’t recall them explaining how he got his powers. But he has them. He is the offspring of a race from another planet being hunted by the bad guys from that planet. There are nine left. John is number four. (Hence the clever title of the movie.)
After his powers are discovered, after three emblems (representing numbers 1, 2, and 3 being killed) are burned into his leg, John and his guardian, Henri (Timothy Olyphant) must move. Henri also has this box, that I assume has some magical power.
John meets Sam (Callan McAuliffe), an outcast at the school, who becomes his best friend, and Sarah (Dianna Agron), who becomes his love interest. Sam and Sarah witness John using his powers. He tells them the story.
Henri becomes injured by the people hunting them, leaving the three teens on their own. They take off to battle the bad guys using his special powers. During a battle, Number 6 (Teresa Palmer) comes along and saves the day.
Number 6 joins the crew to presumably save the remaining four aliens. A nice set up for sequels.
I had been told by numerous sources that this was a really good movie. And the kids all enjoyed it. So we sat through it. If you’re picking up from my lack of details and the previous statement, I was severely underwhelmed.
The storyline and action of the movie failed to hold my attention. At all. I caught most of it. But wasn’t concerned with pausing the movie to get a snack or during any distractions that may have arisen. (I honestly don’t recall if anything distracted me. I don’t remember much about the experience. That’s how much it impacted me.) The acting was ok. But didn’t do anything for me. And what is Timothy Olyphant doing as a good guy? He seems more of a villain actor to me, if I’m typecasting.
While I didn’t enjoy it, and I’m disappointed that it sat on my entertainment center for three days (costing me $3.21 at the Redbox), there are other adults who liked it. And as i said, the kids enjoyed it. So this may be more of a movie for your tweens/teens. Either way, I don’t plan on watching I Am Number Five.