Guys, this one is special. We’re going to have to fast-track him to the Ender of everything. Hello again moviegoers, today I’ll be taking a look at “Ender’s Game” which is based on the 1985 science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card. The film stars Harrison Ford as Colonel Hyrum Graff who has been charged with the task of finding an elite battle commander to lead Earth’s military fleet against an invading, alien race of insectoids that last attacked Earth fifty years ago and Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggins, the would-be prodigy.
‘Ender’s Game’ (one and a half sweet potatoes out of four) Stars: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley; Director: Gavin Hood; Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure; Rated PG-13; Runtime 114 minutes; opens Friday, November 1st.
Set in the future, the film starts with a voiceover that gets us up to date but the voiceover lacks in tone and personality and so does this film. This is in large part because director Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) rushes us through the story to get to the large special effects laden sequences, which come across as second rate.
The story never settles down and lets the tactical Ender adventure and makes friends; nor does it let us see how his abilities would affect those relationships and how he would respond in those situations. Instead, Ender (Butterfield) uses his smarts to quickly apprehend any potential treat as he quickly matriculates his way through the battle school simulations all the way to the final simulation at command school.
Graff (Ford) is deceptive in his handling of Ender. He won’t let his prime directive of cultivating Ender’s talent be encumbered in any way. Never mind the morality of exploiting children for military gain. And how do the children feel about this whole thing? I suppose this issue had already been addressed adequately. Why else would be here?
Major Gwen Anderson (played by Viola Davis) is a little more ethical, and Mazer Rackham (played by Ben Kingsley) was largely responsible for the defeat of the alien invaders the last time is legend.
This talented cast which also includes Abigail Breslin as Valentine Wiggins, Ender’s older sister and best friend and Hailee Steinfeld who plays Petra Arkanian, is largely underutilized in this movie.
The potential was there for a good movie but “Ender’s Game” ends up being more of a shell game than a Sci-Fi epic or even the kind of movie that can launch a franchise. As the movie nears its end, Ender surmises there is more to this alien race but unlike “Star Wars”, this hero’s journey starts too late.
I give “Ender’s Game” one and a half sweet potatoes out of four. This has been your resident moviegoer and I will see you after the movies at moviegoersview.com.