Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ender's Game - Review

Disclaimer: I have never read the books that were the basis of the movie and therefore I cannot comment on whether the movie accurately represents the story or not. 

The trailers for Ender's Game intrigued me. They suggested a complex story set in a future time when the existence of the planet was at stake and the best and brightest called upon to defend civilization were our children. I decided that I wanted to see this movie on opening day because it had been a while since I had treated myself to being some of the first to see a new release.

The movie did not disappoint. It should be a blockbuster, but the difficult story and the mania surrounding the personal views of the writer, Orson Scott Card, will likely keep many people from viewing the movie. Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin and Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff created the intriguing interplay between characters that movies demand to be successful. The story is complex and the character development sufficiently detailed to make the ending of the movie not only plausible, but necessary.

The story follows Ender Wiggin, the hero, a newly recruited member of a battle school designed to train young people to prepare to war with a deadly alien force that 50 years ago almost destroyed Earth. Ender finds himself often alienated and must overcome incredible pressure from seemingly every person he meets. The development of his life and family relationship is provided in sufficient detail to understand the basis of Ender's unique personality. Colonel Graff is the driving force and authoritarian leader who recognizes Ender's genius and trains and motivates him. This is no Karate Kid mentoring relationship. This is a difficult and hard, extreme military relationship in which there is no tolerance for failure.

The movie is fast paced and filled with action. There are only a few moments where I felt that I could reflect upon the story as it was unfolding and prepare for the coming action. The imagery is compelling and at times beautiful.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like SCI FI, see this movie. The movie contains violence--the premise of the movie revolves around warfare and training for a major military campaign. Probably not suitable for the under 12 group due to the complex story and the violence, although the violence is not too graphic.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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