Wednesday, November 6, 2013

REVIEW: Ender's Game

Ender's Game

Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford


November 1, 2013

Gavin Hood

Summit Entertainment

1 hour 54 minutes



It seems that almost every week, there is a new movie adaptation of a popular book or book series roaming into theaters to try to win audiences and the devoted fans of the book or books over.  The three that have really succeeded at not only being box office hits, but also garnering multiple sequels, are the "Harry Potter," "Twilight," and "The Hunger Games" series'.  The latest book series to try to attempt this feat is "Ender's Game."  Starring the likes of Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis, as well as child stars like "Hugo's" Asa Butterfield and "True Grit's" Hailee Steinfeld, this movie is a lot darker than most book-to-film adaptations are, yet I feel that the darkness of the story really adds to this genre as a whole.  "Ender's Game" might not be a perfect film, suffering from a lack of character development and some story elements, but it is a riveting, exciting, and overall moving sci-fi story that is sure to relate to many teens all over the country.

Imagine a future where the government recruits gifted kids into a special naval unit in order to learn how to fight and defeat a planet of aliens.  The reason for this is because fifty years prior to the events of the film, we defeated these aliens in a heated battle, so the government, in a desperate act of defense, has taken some precautions in case they ever decide to battle us again.  Ender Wiggin is one of these gifted kids, and Colonel Graff believes that he could be the one to save all of mankind from the potential alien threat.  So Ender is taken in to battle school to learn how to battle these threats, and hopefully get himself up to the top to eventually command soldiers to take down these aliens.  However, is Ender the right guy for the job, or is the government spending millions of dollars on some random whiz kid?

It's great to see Asa Butterfield in more big movies like this, because he really is a talented child actor.  His character Ender is kind of like Spock from "Star Trek" but with 10 times the amount of emotion in his system.  Butterfield is the type of person who seems weird and nerdy on the outside, but when you dig into his and his character's personas,' you get to see an emotionally layered performance with a hint of sarcasm if he's used just right.  Hailee Steinfeld hasn't really done a lot since "True Grit" back in 2010, so it's also great to see her in a movie once again, and damn does she prove that she's talented.  While not used a lot, Steinfeld is still really good, and I personally love how this movie didn't have Asa and Hailee's characters hooking up in the end.  Harisson Ford and ben Kingsley are also great in the movie, as well as Abigail Breslin and Viola Davis, but the latter two aren't really used a lot, thus not giving the audience enough time to get to know their characters.  Still though, all of the acting in general is simply great here.

The only real problems for me, and they were pretty small, were that some characters weren't developed enough for me to really care about them.  Other than that, "Ender's Game" is a fantastic young adult sci-fi movie that is definitely worthy of sequels if enough people are willing to support it.  Director Gavin Hood has a handle on this type of material if he is able to properly show it, unlike with "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," and his eye for direction is a good one in general.  The visuals, while not amazing, are very good and pretty gorgeous in certain scenes.  The story is great, as well as the acting, and there is not much else to say about this movie.  "Ender's Game" as a whole is a movie that is both riveting and heartfelt, but may fall into the abyss of people's minds because of the release of big films like "Thor: The Dark World" later this month.


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