Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis
Directed by Gavin Hood
In this sci-fi thriller children are the future to saving the Earth from an alien attack. Teenagers are recruited to a military boot camp, where they are monitored closely for the traits of a superior soldier. Ender (Butterfield) is the third child in his family to be put into boot camp. His eldest brother was kicked out after being too violent, and his sister rejected for her compassion. From the example of his older siblings, Ender learns both traits and is found to be the perfect leader by Colonel Graff (Ford).
In the film seventy years past, an alien race came to Earth looking to colonize. The humans fought back, gaining momentary peace but always anticipating the aliens return. The best of the teenagers sent to boot camp are shuttled into the International Military station in orbit around the Earth. Colonel Graff sees potential in young Ender, but the child is not always obedient to those in higher command. The days are numbered to the next alien attack and Ender is their only hope to defeating the enemy once and for all.
Despite the many scenes in CGI, “Ender’s Game” felt completely plausible. Not once did I think during the movie something felt unreal or not possible. For a sci-fi film, you have to let the movie do its job to take you out of your element and into the story. I don’t know if any part of the movie was similar to the book, but it was entertaining throughout.
Butterfield played a difficult role as a brilliant child with a ruthless nature. His character is taught to be cold, using logic to defeat bullies to prevent future confrontations. Ford plays the distant mentor, keeping an eye on Ender and giving him the necessary tools for him to lead an army.
I thought the movie deserved an A- because it had the qualities I look for in a great movie. First, it’s a movie I could see again, even own when it’s released on DVD. Second, it was entertaining throughout. I didn’t wonder how much longer there was to go. Third, the acting from these children was so impressive. They didn’t break character and were true to their role. Last but not least, it drew me into this futuristic world. The CGI was necessary to make it feel real and it didn’t distract me from the setting.
As I have said, I didn’t read the book so I don’t know if the movie stayed true to it. I think that the movie reaches a wide audience and it’s not too violent for kids to see.