Gavin Hood (2013)
I missed Ender’s Game when it came out in 2013, and saw it was pretty much panned by critics and ignored by audiences. Yet again, I find myself completely out of phase with the general opinion.
Fifty years after a foiled invasion of Earth by an insectoid alien race known as Formics, humanity is preparing itself for war, recruiting the smartest children to fight in the military. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, is personally chosen by Colonel Graff, and taken to Battle School, training with the goal of on day leading humanity’s fleet in the war to come.
Disclaimer: I have not read Orson Scott Card’s novel, so I am not in a position to say whether it is well adapted or not. Generally it’s better if I don’t read the source material before seeing the movie, because I usually tend to be way more critical.
The Bad: nothing, I like everything the movie does and how it does it.
The Good: I am in love with overall visual aspect of the movie, I think the visuals will stand the test of time, because the CG is so well integrated, blending with costumes and practical sets, every scene in space looks so good, from the orbital Battle School to the space battle “simulations”
Asa Butterfield does great as Ender, and holds his own facing an invested Harrison Ford, masterfully playing weary but committed Colonel Graff. I like the rest of the cast too (which is almost a surprise with so many young actors, but they did great)
How can I not mention the story, on a surface level it builds up towards a generic triumph story for Ender overcoming all obstacles with the help of his friends, but at the same time you are given all the clues to anticipate what is going to happen
My opinion: I don’t think Ender’s Game is a masterpiece, but it’s one of those movies I happen to love for what it is. It tells a fascinating story, that is not what it appears to be, with many underlying themes, it has amazing visuals, emphatic music and interesting characters.