Starring: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, and Abigail Breslin
ENDER’S GAME opens today starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, and Abigail Breslin. This science fiction tale is based closely on the best selling novel by Orson Scott Card, written in 1985. The film depicts Earth in the future which had battled and won an alien invasion. Children with gaming skills were then recruited to train in order to combat the aliens in a final battle to end all future battles.
“Ender’s Game” is geared toward the young adolescent population. In this film, the commanding officers are looking for that one shining star of a soldier that will lead the country forward in successful battle. Commander Graff thinks he has found his savior in Ender. To prove that Ender is the right choice, he is put through many tests. In order to live up to these expectations, Ender must manipulate and outsmart the current group leaders and win tactical games. This winner then obtains the honor and privilege of possibly leading Earth to victory over the aliens in an upcoming war. Ender, the scrawny, but extremely intelligent teen proceeds in the training program and is tested in many ways with the commander always supervising like a shepherd over his flock. Ender has many issues to deal with such as bullying, family pressures, his relationships with his siblings and how they affect his training, as well as making friends. As Ender struggles in various situations, his need for family support never waivers. Being away at this military type of boarding school where he is initially a loner, pushes Ender to look within himself for strength and courage to compete and complete his training.
“Ender’s Game” is a typical science fiction film. There are plenty of space training fights at zero gravity and more than enough video game practice battles at command central in outer space. Explanations of equipment and the alien enemy information is expressed in excruciating detail. Special effects of floating in space and high tech equipment is the main focal point for visual entertainment, but it goes overboard to the point of boredom due to repetition. And the dizzying camera work could come close to making any viewer carsick.
Asa Butterfield plays Ender with adequate skills. Harrison Ford’s role of the commanding officer is adequate. Viola Davis’ character is nothing shy of dull, but this has nothing to do with her acting abilities. It is solely due to the writing and the overall character in the film. All of the actors do an acceptable job in portraying their characters, but the roles are just rather flat in nature.
“Ender’s Game” is a futuristic film geared toward young teens who enjoy science fiction and gaming. With many gaming scenes, space fights, and technical jargon, the film loses momentum and becomes rather boring. Although the movie is rather predictable, “Ender’s Game” has redeeming qualities as it addresses typical growing pains from the underdog’s point of view. Bullying, lack of confidence, making friends, and making right choices are all things any young child experiences. If you’re a fan of the book or if you’re wanting to take your 4th - 8th grader to see a movie, this will be an entertaining choice. If you’re over 15 and not into gaming and science fiction, check your local listings for another film.