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Starship Troopers in reverse
on 29 May 2016
SPOILER WARNING, THIS REVIEW MAY INCLUDE SPOILERS
“Ender's Game” is a film based on Orson Scott Card's award-winning science fiction novel of the same title. Apparently, Card was involved in the movie adaptation. I never read the novel, and I admit that the film isn't one of my favorites. It is slow-paced and somewhat boring, with some characters looking like slapstick stereotypes (Bonzo comes to mind). The acting leaves something to be desired, too (again Bonzo comes to mind).
The premise is interesting, though.
The plot is set in the distant future after a brutal alien attack on Earth. It's implied at several points that the aliens are highly evolved social insects. Humanity pulls itself together and plans a counter-attack against the alien home world. Earth's space ships are remote controlled by specially trained children (sic). The battle bruised commanding officer Hyrum Graff, starred by an aged Harrison Ford, is looking for a kid with sociopathic tendencies and believes he has found the perfect candidate in Ender Wiggin. However, Ender turns out to be an empath with paranormal abilities and decides to play a game all his own, which could decide the fate of two civilizations…
Avid watchers of syfy on TV or cinema will duly note similarities with “Babylon 5”, “Starship Troopers” and perhaps even “Harry Potter”!
“Ender's Game” contain a number of unexpected twists, but it isn't until the very end that we get to know the full picture of what's really going on. And by then, I was frankly bored, since most of the film deals with Ender's training at a space station, and a very superficial treatment of his relationships with the other cadets. I really only want to give this movie two stars, but since I happen to like the underlying idea (and plot twists) I will very graciously award it three.
When “Ender's Game” premiered in the United States, gay rights activists called for a boycott of the film, since Orson Scott Card has actively campaigned against same-sex marriage. Card is a Mormon and a direct descendant of Brigham Young. The boycott was rather silly, since the movie has an “inclusive” cast and an anti-racist message. And yes, social insects are, ahem, matriarchal…