Ender's Game

Ender's Game

(2013)

Adaptation of the beloved science fiction novel starring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Abigail Breslin. 70 years after a brutal war with an alien race, young Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin (Asa Butterfield, Hugo) is selected for Battle School to hone his military skills and defeat them once and for all.... More

To prevent future attacks by the Formics, hostile insect-like aliens who killed tens of millions when they attempted to colonise Earth, the Battle School was established to find the world's most talented young strategists. Led by the esteemed Colonel Graff (Ford), the school's job is to enlist and train the world's best tactical minds - one of whom, the shy but brilliant Ender, quickly establishes himself as humanity's greatest hope. Trained in combat and space warfare, Ender is also ruthlessly psychologically manipulated as the Battle School attempts to mould him into their ultimate weapon against the Formics.

Orson Scott Card's novel, published in 1985, is the first in a series of twelve. The first two are considered amongst the most influential science fiction of the 1980s.Hide

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Flicks Review

It’s been a long time coming, but Orson Scott Card’s revered sci-fi novel has finally hit the big screen. Much of the wait likely had to do with waiting for technology to make an adaptation possible – lifelike zero gravity and deep space manoeuvres being critical to the film. Yes, a bit like Gravity, which outshines Ender’s Game visually in some departments. But since Gravity doesn’t have aliens, massive space battles and kids pummelling the crap out of each other, that’s a bit of an unfair comparison.... More

What Ender’s Game has going for it is a more robust, unpredictable and downright grim narrative than many of the young adult fiction adaptations the movie looks like. That’s because, despite the age of many core cast and the way the film first appears, that’s not what the novel is. This is sci-fi fare that’s fine for teens to see, but it’s not written solely with them in mind.

Bringing the character of Ender to life, Asa Butterfield (Hugo) turns in an impressive performance. Whether confident or conflicted, he’s always convincing as a youngster trained from birth as a master strategist and mankind’s great hope. As his mentor (sometime tormentor) Colonel Graff, Harrison Ford’s gruffness is the best thing he’s done in years, maybe even more than a decade. And the esteemed Ben Kingsley will provide unexpected comic relief for Kiwis, arriving complete with moko, half-Maori genes and a Kiwi accent that is hilariously terrible at times.

While the supporting characters often seem to come and go, and some elements of the novel not as thoroughly explored as some may expect, that’s because there’s a lot of story to get through. This efficient adaptation proves extremely watchable, and still packs an emotional punch.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

BY thorinoak superstar

Ben Kingsley's Maori accent was the best thing about this film. And thats saying ALOT.


BY Colttany superstar

Awesome movie. Enjoyed this very much.


The movie seemed to be targeted at young teens. Bit cheesy. Didn't grow the characters very well.


You end up sitting through a bunch of cheesy child-army raising by Harrison Ford, utilising every cheesy army/sci fi trope you could hope to avoid. You wait in the hope that Sir Ben Kingsley will save the day. And then he arrives and says "My dad was Murray. You thought I was did, dudn't you?". Sorry, I would give this review more detail, but the movie sucked my energy.


I liked the movie


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The Press Reviews

62% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • It admirably avoids many of the pitfalls of adapting this book, but seems to have lost some of the life and pace as well. Full Review

  • The movie's apocalyptic finale indicates that it's bitten off considerably more than it can chew in terms of ideas, but it looks good, and the story rattles along. Full Review

  • If only adapter-director Gavin Hood's movie had been tempered with craft and care and wasn't such a blunt instrument, one that seems designed as a delivery system for CGI derring-do instead of the heartbreaker it should be. Full Review

  • It falters once the actual war begins: Ben Kingsley shows up as a Maori warrior with the weirdest imaginable accent, the final battle is uninvolving, and there’s an unconvincing upbeat coda. Ender’s Game ends up being fitfully engaging and endearingly odd. Full Review

  • Like its hero, Ender’s Game relies on brains more than brute force. An absorbing portrait of Lord Of The Flies-style morality housed in imaginative sci-fi casing. Full Review

  • An impressive, thought-provoking astro-adventure that benefits from the biggest screen available. Full Review

  • Childhood can be tough in movies, but rarely do screen children suffer for our sins as they do here. Full Review

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