ENDER’S GAME Movie Review.
Created by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game is a futuristic tale about the creation of a new form of warfare that humanity creates to combat an alien race that attacked Earth decades before the events of Enders Game. With this hailed as the Sci-Fi Harry Potter and the source material being of such high quality there was a lot riding on this film. With big names like Harrison Ford,Sir Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield of Hugo fame I was interested in seeing whether such an unusual cast could bring this all together in a satisfying hundred and fourteen minutes or would it end up like Rick Riordans Percy and the Olympians series or to an even greater degree, Philip Pullmans, His Dark Materials, to you and I that is the Golden Compass film and all its sequels that never came to be.
Andrew “Ender” Wiggins is a genius, a tactical genius who sees all the variables, every little detail, every little possibility and that’s what makes him the prime candidate for the military program which has been set up by humanity to defend from the inevitable return from an alien race known as the Formics. Within Ender, Colonel Graff( Harrison Ford) see’s humanities last hope for survival against what Graff see’s as an overwhelmingly dangerous force. Graff pushes Ender to his limits, physically, emotionally and most of all psychologically. With an escalation in threat midway through the film there is an escalation in plans for Ender and with that comes something I don’t think Sci-Fi films have had for awhile, surprises.
Ender’s Game is a visually stunning epic, with absolutely fantastic performances given by a diverse cast of characters, from Harrison Fords monstrous Colonel Graff, who seeks the complete destruction of the enemy regardless of the cost the “soldiers” have to pay, to Asa Butterfields enigmatic and introverted protagonist who just wants to ensure the completion of the mission. On the subject of Asa Butterfield, he portrays Ender superbly,in the beginning he comes off as simply emotionless ,but that hides passion, a sly bit of charm and a caring soul. Asa gives a knock out performance, adding depth to a character who could have easily been written off as emotionless tool. With a fantastic supporting cast, an original and engaging story and an unusual and interesting protagonist, Ender’s Game surprised me.
Like all adaptations there is clearly portions of Ender’s Game lost in the translation. Moments that come out of nowhere that are visually grand but just come off as excuses to showcase the CGI and I just felt there was something behind it but it just wasn’t explained enough to me, but that’s just my opinion. Also there was a nagging feeling that kept creeping into the back of my head, this is Top Gun with kids and I can’t lie that did take me out of it at points, especially when there is a character introduced who is basically Iceman. I did feel that the “villains” of the film were undeveloped and were just there as a simple plot device which is unfortunate because I was amped to see the Formics in all glory.
Ender’s Game is an original take on a story that’s been told time and time again, with an engaging supporting cast and an intriguing protagonist this was a film I can’t wait to see again.