I remember sitting in a theater watching the previews before a movie sometime last year, and saw a trailer for Ender’s Game. I am a huge Sci-Fi fan, and the first images I saw in this trailer were those of giant alien fleets and space battles. I was instantly intrigued. After the movie my wife said to me that she could not wait until Ender’s Game came out. What I did not know at that moment was that this movie is based of a series of books, and she had read them and enjoyed them a lot . My wife is an avid reader, and has read many novels that have now been adapted to the big screen, so I take her word for it because she is a good judge of a story. With that said, I became more and more enthralled with this movie each time I saw a new trailer or commercial for it. Finally the movie hit the theaters on November 1, 2013, and I was not disappointed.
In the year 2086, an alien race called the Formics attacks Earth with the intention of eradicating the human race. The aliens devastate earth, but a pilot by the name of Mazar Rachman sacrifices his life in a kamikaze move which cripples the Formics command ship, and forces the Formics to retreat from Earth. Fifty years later, Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) is tasked with training Earth’s next generation of warriors for the International Fleet to combat the inevitable return of the Formics. Along with the help of Major Gwen Anderson (Viola Davis), Graff sees potential in a child prodigy by the name of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) to become the next Mazar Rachman. Ender is a cadet in an academy that prepares children to be great military minds. Ender’s every move is captured and monitored by Graff. During one instance where Ender is confronted by a bully, Colonel Graff watches how Ender handles the bullying, and later confronts the bully to stop his harassment. Graff sees Ender has the potential to become Earth’s greatest warrior, and recruits him to Battle School where the best of the best are taken to further their training. It is in Battle School where Ender must overcome challenges brought forth by the instructors, other recruits, and himself to prove to Colonel Graff that he is and can be Earth’s greatest warrior.
I may be a little biased with this review because I am a huge fan of Sci-Fi, and I am just rating this movie for face value because I cannot compare it to the book since I have not read it. I personally liked this movie a lot. Is it one of the best movies of 2013? No, not really, but it is still an entertaining and good movie nonetheless. I feel that Asa Butterfield did a great job of playing Ender, and did a great job of portraying the struggle of a child who must overcome many challenges while having the weight of his optimistic and demanding parents, eager commander, and hopeful human race behind him. Harrison Ford also played an amazing role as Colonel Graff. The man was Han Solo for crying out loud. Is there any role he that he doesn’t do an amazing job in performing? I like the on-screen relationship between Viola Davis and him in their pursuit to mold Ender into a new hope for the human race. Another thing that I liked about the movie is that it had my favorite part of any Sci-Fi movie, and that is epic battles. Even though there are great battles, the film mainly focuses on character development and Ender’s struggle to live up to everyone’s expectations for him. Because of this build up, most of the movie progresses slowly and had more dialog than action. The build-up is fine though, because the last thirty minutes of the film, when the action starts to pick up, the audience is given many different plot twists that I never saw coming.
The movie ends with a huge plot twist and a cliffhanger-ish ending. With this said, the movie won’t go on to win Oscars, but I find it to be a good introduction to the series should more films be made. If you are a fan of Sci-Fi, and want to see a good flick, grab this movie when it hits the stores on February 11, 2014.
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