Friday, November 1, 2013

  • Opens tomorrow, November 1, 2013 
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • PG-13 | thematic material, some violence and sci-fi action

There's been a bit of noise surrounding Ender's Game which is based on a novel of the same name by Orson Scott Card.  The book, part of a series of books by Card gain a huge following but has since faced a backlash due to Card's stance on same sex marriage.  I have never read the books but the trailers was intriguing enough for me to attend.

Ender's Game is a visually stimulating sci fi movie about Andrew "Ender" Wilson (Asa Butterfield), a young teenager who is supposed to be mankind's salvation from an alien threat (Formics).  The story starts off with a history lesson about the attack and how the humans were able to drive off the aliens when a heroic act took out the lead ship of the aliens.  We learn that the military has evolved itself to use teenage children who at their age are supposed to be quicker and better processors of data than the adults.  There is truth to this as how many times have you been beaten in a video game by a teenager who only started playing the game that day?  The kids are trained in their youth to be the tacticians for the military, controlling the fleet in an attempt to prepare for any new invasions by the aliens.  

In the movie, we see the evolution of Ender under the watchful eye of Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and his assistant Major Gwen Anderson (Viola Davis).  Asa does an amazing job as Ender, in a pretty taxing role as far as emotions go.  His character is continuously pushed to new limits that will have most adults breaking down.  The war games he participates in and eventually leads in the military school are some of the most enjoyable scenes to watch in the movie.  The noticeably shorter Moisés Arias plays Ender's chief antagonist extremely well.  The movie despite being a bit long at almost two hours seem to leave some subplots unanswered perhaps for a sequel down the line.  Some parts just seems unnecessary or just fits in oddly. For example, Ender's dream and subsequent discovery or the introduction of Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) to Ender for the first time.

Overall, I enjoyed the film and would recommend it.  Some parts seems to drag a bit but the action overall especially in the final battle is pretty cool to watch it unfold.  The CGI gets a bit abstract with the swarm of alien ships at times.  These are mostly forgivable due to the overall entertaining story and many explosions you get in the rest of the movie.  The whole idea of using children in such a manner is pretty provocative.   Given the ending, I would actually like to see more of this dynamic which I find interesting rather then Ender's next journey.

Rating: 3.0 Stars out of 5.0 Stars


  • Asa Butterfield as Andrew "Ender" Wiggin
  • Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff
  • Hailee Steinfeld as Petra Arkanian
  • Abigail Breslin as Valentine Wiggin
  • Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham.
  • Kyle Russell Clements as Young Mazer Rackham
  • Viola Davis as Major Gwen Anderson
  • Aramis Knight as Bean
  • Suraj Parthasarathy as Alai
  • Moisés Arias as Bonzo
  • Khylin Rhambo as Dink
  • Jimmy Pinchak as Peter Wiggin
  • Nonso Anozie as Sergeant Dap
  • Conor Carroll as Bernard
  • Caleb J. Thaggard as Stilson
  • Cameron Gaskins as Pol Slattery (Leopard Army)
  • Stevie Ray Dallimore as John Paul Wiggin
  • Andrea Powell as Theresa Wiggin
  • Brandon Soo Hoo as Fly Molo
  • Dee Bradley Baker as TBA (voice)
  • Orson Scott Card as Pilot (voice cameo)

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