Review of 'Ender's Game'

enders_game.jpg Earth has been devastatingly attacked by the alien “formics” (“buggers” in the original book), an disaster avoided at the last moment by the heroics of Mazer Rackham (played quite coolly by a Maori-face painted Ben Kingsley) in destroying the “mother” ship. Earth determines that their best hope is in training hyper-intelligent children to command their fleets in fending off the formics. (Andrew) Ender Wiggin (played precisely correct by Asa Butterfield) is set aside from the beginning by Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) who is the difficult situation of having to weigh the overwhelming demands placed on him for protection of the planet with the feelings and needs of his young geniuses. Ender quickly proves Graff correct by excelling at the war games in battle school - working within the limits set for him and often beyond. Despite his young age and the jealously of a number of his peers (often leading to violence) can he save his planet?

Amazing effects and convincing acting make this a very good adaptation of the original prize-winning book by Orson Scott Card. The games in the battle school held in zero-G are amazing, if somewhat difficult to follow (as you might imagine), where Ender learns what he will one day need to save the planet. This is quite a talkative movie but the concepts covered need the exposition meaning that this is not entirely the action-fest that many may be expecting having seen the trailers. For me, I appreciated the back-ground which adds to the depth of the movie.

In the screening I attended, many parents brought their families to see this movie but with the frequent personal violence between the children and the depth of the issues involved I am not so sure children would enjoy it.

Nice to see a Science Fiction movie with not only a lot of eye candy but a great story to boot. It may not be everyone's cup of tea…

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2013-10-27

Directed by: Gavin Hood

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Year: 2013

Length: 114 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by Gavin Hood: