“Ender’s Game” review

By: Sean McMahon

It has been a long 28-year journey from novel to Hollywood blockbuster for Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game.”

Calling it “highly anticipated” is an understatement, especially for the book’s fans, who rave it as the movie event of the season.

Even those who didn’t read the novel will enjoy this rendition of the sci-fi classic.

After barely surviving an invasion by a species known as the Formics, the brightest children are gathered and trained to be leaders in order to defend Earth during the next attack.

As war becomes inevitable, Col. Graff (Harrison Ford) anoints Ender (Asa Butterfield) as the leader of Earth’s forces.

The film follows Ender through his days at Battle School as he overcomes the challenges of loneliness, bullying and the mounting pressure to succeed.

Butterfield’s performance as Ender was superb. The actor successfully portrays all of Ender’s complexities. Butterfield silently and seamlessly portrays Ender’s pain, joy and frustration, while simultaneously embracing the character’s intelligence without coming across as smug. “Ender’s Game” is visually stunning.

Some of the effects are lowquality and seem to belong in a video game, such as the ships and the Formics, but they don’t have a negative impact on the film as a whole.

When Ender plays the mind game, the visuals are beautiful. The mind game scene is visually impressive as one’s eyes absorb the textures and colors of the mouse, giant and the landscape of the game.

Veterans of the “Ender’s Game” series will be disappointed to find no Demosthenes and Locke, few battle room sequences and relegating characters such as Bean and Peter.

However, this is a wonderful adaptation, considering it condenses the novel into two hours. The film would have benefitted from another 20 or 30 minutes to further flesh out the novel’s philosophical issues, but in an era in which books are split into two or more movies, it is refreshing to see a complete story in one sitting.

*Edited by Gina Bochetta*

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