One problem from the beginning is that the movie did not provide ample reasoning as to why kids are being used to control the fate of the human race. Other than line saying something about kids' minds are faster and that they know technology better or something like that, there is very littler explanation as to why children are humanity's only hope. Most likely, it was explained in the novel. Being that Ender's Game is based on a novel that a lot of people have a read, the movie adaptation occasionally suffers from some problems that adaptations usually have: a reliance on the fact that the audience knows the source material. While not always prevalent, there are aspects that feel as though there was a lot more behind it that those who have read the book can fill in the blanks. Some aspects of the story are skimmed over without much explanation. Even though the lack of explanation was a minor problem, Ender's Game biggest issue is that there is a general lack of suspense and intensity that most other good films have. Since those that have read the book already know how everything turns out, this is not a problem for those viewers, for the rest of us however, you feel that the story is a little predictable and that the final outcome is entirely expected, even if the ending is fantastic and mostly unexpected.
Directed by: Gavin Hood
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Running Time: 114 minutes
MMPA rating: PG-13
The Good: The Battle Room scenes are cool, Harrison Ford is a excellent as always, Fantastic ending, Mostly non-annoying child/teen actors, Intriguing science-fiction world,
The Bad: Lack of suspense and intensity, Please explain why are kids controlling the fate of the humanity again?,
Plot: The following plot summary is copied from Wikipedia.com.
In the year 2086, an alien species called the Formics attacks Earth. Mazer Rackham, commander of a small reserve patrol force, halts their advance and apparently sacrifices himself during their attack.
Fifty years later, a young cadet named Andrew "Ender" Wiggin beats a school bully named Stilson at a hand-held virtual game while Colonel Hyrum Graff and Major Gwen Anderson from the International Fleet watch via Ender's monitor on his neck. Ender is summoned to have the monitor on the back of his neck removed. When Stilson and his gang attack him, Ender retaliates and violently beats Stilson. Ender returns home and confesses grief over his actions to his sister Valentine. Their older brother Peter interrupts them and convinces Ender to play a game. He then begins choking Ender, threatening to kill him but pulls back. Graff and Anderson visit the Wiggin family and offer Ender a place in Battle School, admitting that the final test was to see how Ender would react to his monitor's removal. Graff talks privately with Ender and is able to convince him to accept, because Ender believes that "it was what he was born for".
Watch the movie to see what happens next.
Plot: 7.2/10- Ender's Game plot and general concept are great, albeit a little reminiscent of Star Wars and Star Trek in some aspects in terms of setting. Many of the concepts about how to create a leader are explored, and while they lack sufficient time to explode them in any depth, what little is present is thought-provoking to a degree. Where Ender's Game falters is when the movie rushes past certain points in the plot. Despite feeling a little slow at times, the movie simultaneously feels rushed. Most of the movie is about Ender training to become a commander and, for the most part, it was entertaining and interesting, even if it still had a few of the problems mentioned above.
Characterization: 7.5/10- Thanks to a strong performance by Butterfield, Ender is a mostly likable and well rounded character. He actually reminded me of Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion, albeit not nearly as messed up in the head or as developed as Shinji of course, but it was cool to see another somewhat similar type character. Colonel Hyrum Graff, played by Harrison Ford, is given some moral complexity and he is an all around good character. Most of the other characters are forgettable side characters that lack any real development.
Action: 6.9/10- The Battle Room scenes in Ender's Game are fun and entertaining to watch. In some ways, the game reminded me of Quidditch from Harry Potter, but not in a bad way. The giant spac and simulator battles are entertaining for the most part, even if they lack suspense. As stated previously, there is little suspense or tension at any point during the movie.
Acting: 7.8/10- Harrison Ford is fantastic as always, and Butterfield continues to prove that he is one of the better young actors in the business today. Some of the young teen and child actors are usually fine considering their age; however, they do seem unnatural in a few scenes.
Special effects: 7.5/10- Some of Ender's Game special effects look great, while others look unrefined with obviously noticeable use of green screen.
Soundtrack: 7.2/10- Steve Jablonsky score is surprisingly good, with a few tracks in particular that are noticeable while watching the movie.
Overall: 7.4/10- Overall, Ender's Game is a very good effort and a mostly entertaining one at that. While most of the flaws can be overlooked, the movie is not particularly memorable unless you have read the source material, but it was nevertheless more worth my time spent watching it.
Closing comments: As with most novel adaptations, those that have read the book will either love it because they are fans of the book, or hate because it is different than the source material. As for the rest movie watching audience, Ender's Game is a well made science fiction film that is very good, but never truly great.
Recommended for: Sci-fi fans, Fans of the book,
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