1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2013
In the future Earth is nearly destroyed by an alien race of bug like creatures, but we were saved by a great hero that wasn't Casper Van Dien but Gandhi (Ben Kinsley). Children play video games to see who will become the next war leader. The overly robotic Ender Wiggen (Asa Butterfield) is on the fast track to become that leader, trained by Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
The film is magnificent in its graphics. The characters are fairly dry as in too many science fiction films which are theme driven. Written in 1985 the film looks at the "First Strike" debate. Should you attack your enemy first if you believe you are about to be attacked? This was debated in the 1980's and during the 1930's. It became policy in Iraq and is still debated today, the reason why Hollywood chose to make this film now. The film also touches on population control and structural society for the common good.
The multiple adult themes have been dummy downed for the young target audience who are surely more enthralled by the computer games than any under lying meaning. If "Ender's Game" reminds you of other modern films it is because they copied from it, or the book upon it was based. In that regard this feature is similar to "John Carter." a film that was not as popular as those it inspired.
Worth while viewing for the kids. Adults might find themselves at times bored during the formulaic plot.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 26 July 2014
I rather think this was as good as Hollywood could do with this one, particularly if aiming for this certificate (though Transformers made a 12, and with that language, I remain amazed, though it's otherwise suitable only for the under sixes). I always felt the book to be a rather adult book with kids in it, and this definitely moves more towards the kids than does the book.
However, it is a very entertaining movie. Most of the key themes from the book, including the final battle and aftermath are there, if toned down. The bullying and outsider themes that made such an impact on many of us are still there, and the effects all you could want. The battle room in particular is well-realised, though some sequences I'd have liked to see were missing.
Pretty much all of the cast and characterisation are fit for purpose, Ford and Kingsley reliable as ever, Asa Butterfield fine again, but I felt the sergeant was feeble- straight out of "The Sarah Jane Adventures" or that lost non-classic "Five Go To Boot Camp."
Still, overall, an enjoyable, perhaps languid, but never too slow, passable adaptation of a fine novel; one that will deserve another watch.
A job well done.
80 of 97 people found the following review helpful
I liked this film and I am glad that I watched it, although it is definitely significantly INFERIOR to the book. Below, more of my impressions, with very limited SPOILERS.
As probably everybody already knows, this sci-fi war film is situated in the future, years after a failed alien invasion of the Earth. Fearing that another, even deadlier invasion can take place, humanity created a powerful space fleet and trained hundreds and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and officers. But in order to lead this huge armed forces, it was decided that a new kind of generals and admirals was needed, one able to learn and adapt faster when faced by complex and always varying alien tactics of space fighting. This film tells the story of a very promising recruit, young Andrew Ender Wiggin, who may just be the future war leader of the whole humanity - if only he manages to survive the excruciatingly difficult, increasingly painful and sadistically cruel training in which complex war games play a great role...
We learn those things in the first minute of the film and about the rest I will say no more. Young Asa Butterfield who plays Ender is simply AMAZING, as good as he was in "Hugo". Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley give a great show as his teachers, with Viola Davis and Nonso Anozie supporting them valiantly as respectively war academy main psychologist and the hulking drill sergeant. Young actresses Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breislin play also important roles, those of Petra, Ender's friend in academy and Valentine, Ender's older sister.
Now, this film is an adaptation of an archi-classic of Sci-Fi letters, written in 1985 by Orson Scott Card. The book "Ender's game" made quite a splash when first published and got all the yearly awards a SF book can get and it didn't age at all - in fact it is still a DARN GOOD READ. But I understand that it was not possible to make a big budget Hollywood adaptation without significant changes - and also it was probably not possible to ask the young actors to do on screen some of the things that are done in the book... For that reason, Ender from the film is a quite different character than the one from the book - he is softer, gentler, weaker, more vulnerable and lacks most of the ruthlessness described in the novel. Also, at the very end of the film, his actions are not motivated by pity and mercy as in the book but by guilt and remorse - and THAT is, I believe, the one change that was not necessary and it REALLY hurt this film.
For the needs of the film many of topics were also completely abandoned and the whole training was shortened, with especially the number of fascinating war games significantly reduced.
Still, I can not find it in my heart to take away one star from the rating, because notwithstanding all the changes, the director and the actors did a hell of a job and this film is a very pleasant watch! Excellent actors, great CGI, good action scenes, a tense and dramatic narration, very honest dialogs, all this makes "Ender's game" a good, solid Sci-Fi film - and there is not so much of them around. I warmly recommend to see it in the cinemas as long as it still play. I certainly will buy the DVD when it is available. Enjoy!
on 15 March 2014
It has Harrison ford in it,and apart from that it is average. All the main characters are child actors who all play their parts well, but it is not a film for children, because it is nearly 2 hours long and does not have enough action to hold their attention. Basically earth has been invaded, and they are using kids to build an army to repel a future invasion. It is slightly different to anything else I've seen, but has long periods where it could of been cut out of the film.
It seems to be a film with two endings. It is just about worth a watch, but only as a rental. Their is no violence, bad language or sexual content.