Directed By: Gavin Hood
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley
In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military's next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he's trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race. Based on the best-selling, award winning novel.
Ender's Game was the first Science Fiction book I read. In one word: EPIC. So, the tale of Ender has a very near and dear place in my heart. Needless to say, I was going into this film with high expectations, and it kills me to review this one as not meeting the bar set by the book.
At times, it was just plain hard to sit and endure the rushed mish-mash that was being thrown at you. Having gone to the showing with someone who didn't read the book, they also complained that the story felt rushed. Immensely in the beginning, though it does get a little better toward the middle half. But by the time things get interesting, it's almost too late to plug back in.
Harrison Ford seems to do a lot of urgent talking in this one. Urgently he tells you the threat is near, urgently he tells everyone what they must do. Urgent was to be the one trick pony. It was all very, very, urgent. Love Harrison, just hated this role.
There are a few saving graces. You get the "gist" of the book. The main points are there. Even though the relationships with the young adult crew got fast forwarded, it's still there. I would have loved to see more development with Ender's buddy Bean. Or any of the rest of the crew. Saying that, Ender's character was well portrayed by the young Asa. He gave the best performance out of the whole cast, bravo young lad.
The special effects were pretty amazing. They did pace well with the movie and managed to keep me from having a thumb war with my movie buddy. Sadly, it was just not enough to feel the ticket price was worth it.
Whether you've read the book or not, this one is just plain mediocre. I'd recommend waiting for the DVD.
Getting 2 and 1/2 'you better stay down' Sheep