Sunday, November 3, 2013

Review of "Ender's Game" Film (Spoiler-free)

Ender's Game suffers from the constrictions inevitably imposed on translating a deeply internal book onto a cinematic expose, but it more than makes up for its dearth of literary substance with its talented youthful cast led by Asa Butterfield’s wonderful acting as Ender, awesome militaristic science fiction/space-based visuals, fabulous rendition of the famous Zero-G training facility (albeit underutilized IMO),  and deep underlying themes regarding the politics, prerogatives, and internal conflict manifested in life and war both in a personal and macro-cosmic system.  The most compelling aspect of the movie for me was my desire to want to empathize with Ender’s plight.  Though always impressed with his intellectual and military acumen, I never could quite decide if I really liked him or not - and I liked that; that he was difficult character to pin down the whole movie, unlike most cinematic characters of this genre.  Butterfield's superb nuanced acting only heightened that appeal.

Watch the movie and be entertained…but be careful as it broaches some of the more difficult moral predicaments of life during wartime that you may not want to ponder whilst woofing down a tub of popcorn.  Any movie that I don't look at my watch the whole time while viewing it is it is a movie worth paying to see IMHO.

3.75 out of 5 stars.

*Though I have not personally read the expanded series of the “Enderverse” beyond the first book, the movie does seem to jump into them towards the end of the movie – so don’t be surprised if things start happening that you don’t quite remember from the book.

**Though he's not involved in any of the action, this is my favorite character of Harrison Ford's in a long time.

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