Having not read the Orson Scott Card novel that ENDER’S GAME is based on, I was assuming that the movie was going to be generic due to the uninspiring trailers I saw for it. I was quite surprised to find that the movie is quite dark with some real challenging questions about morality when it comes to the survival of the human species.
Having been almost annihilated by an alien invasion years earlier, the human race has decided that never again will they allow this to happen. So they have created a program to find the best of the best to train as an elite squad of soldiers. They have also discovered that children are the best candidates.
Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) shows immense promise to be Earth’s best new hope. But the path to discover his mettle and true potential is one full of emotional stressors and physical challenges. It is also paved with lies and deceit.
Thematically the film asks us to consider that by winning the battle at all costs, have we actually lost the war. The answer is not an easy one.
The Visual FX in the film are quite astounding especially the epic battle simulations. The film is also packed with some great supporting performances by Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Harrison Ford. I had soured on Ford recently, but I was quite taken by his performance in this.
The movie might strike some as “been there, done that,” which is a risk you take adapting a classic sci-fi novel that has inspired many of the films that have come after its publication. It also feels a tad like a serious version of STARSHIP TROOPERS. But I was able to tune that out and enjoy the film on the basis of its own merit.
ENDER’S GAME is well-made and held my interests and I was actually surprised at how much I liked it. So much so that I might check out the book series to continue Ender’s adventures.