Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ender's Game


Theoretical Warfare

7.75 out of 10 | Movie or DVD

Rated: PG-13  Thematic material, some violence and sci-fi action
Release Date: November 1, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 54 minutes

Director: Gavin Hood
Gavin Hood, based on the novel by Orson Scott Card
Cast: Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Aramis Knight, Moises Arias

SYNOPSIS: The International Military seek out a leader who can save the human race from an alien attack. Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young mind, is recruited and trained to lead his fellow soldiers into a battle that will determine the future of Earth.

REVIEW: Gavin Hood, director of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, returns to the big screen after a short stint working for the small screen. Adapting the work of Orson Scott Card, Hood brings Ender Wiggins to screen at the perfect time.

50 years after an alien invasion by the Formic, Earth's military dedicates itself to enhancing its strategic preparedness to combat future extra-terrestrial threats. The International Military focuses on recruiting brilliant young boys and girls to train in the arts of war. Third child Ender Wiggins (Asa Butterfield, Hugo) follows in the footsteps of his older sister Valentine (Abigail Breslin, The Call) and his older brother Peter (Jimmy Pinchak, Let Me In). Competing to get into Battle School, Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford, 42) takes interest in Ender and pushes the young boy as far past his limits as he can. When Ender excels at all his schoolwork and tactical training, Graff promotes Ender to the orbiting space station for Battle School. Disliked, mistrusted or envied by the other 'Launchees', Ender must do everything he can to win over his fellow cadets. Rising up the ranks, Ender eventually finds himself face-to-face with endless simulation battles between the International Military and the planetary defenses of the Formic homeworld. Will Ender and his misfit squadron beat the Formic in a final simulation in order to graduate? And will they eventually be ready to face the true threat?

Based on the worldwide sci-fi bestseller novel 'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card, this adaptation remains as faithful as possible to the original story. Reading the novel as an adult, I have a greater appreciation for the story Card was telling. Not just a story of kids battling each other for supremacy in a academic school system – a la the Harry Potter franchise. Sure, the fate of the world between wizards and Muggles was threatened by Voldemort, but Ender's included the added components of having to save an entire planet from annihilation.

A sci-fi classic by Orson Scott card, 'Ender's Game' is the most accessible of the Enders stories for reading. As a series goes on, it gets more philosophical and deep. Cards later works, including 'Speaker for the Dead', 'Xenocide', and 'Children of the Mind', start to rival Frank Herbert's 'Dune' in terms of religion, philosophy, and exploration of xenomorphic entities. At the center of all the stories in the series, Ender struggles with is own nature, the solitary life he is forced to lead, and the choices he must make.

Ender's Game boasts a fine cast including Harrison Ford as Graff, Viola Davis (The Help) as Major Gwen Anderson, and Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) as Mazor Rackham. On the younger side Abigail Breslin plays Valentine, Moises Arias (The Kings of Summer) plays Bonzo Madrid, and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) plays Petra. But the jewel of the crown in casting is that of Ender, played by Asa Butterfield. He is not the normal the muscular and chiseled adolescent protagonist. His portrayal is wide-eyed with innocence, all the while struggling with his dual nature of violence and empathy.

On the strategic and tactical side Ender's Game uses wonderful CGI and wire work to bring to life scenes most integral to the story. From the zero gravity Arena at Battle School, to the mountain lake and skiff on Earth, to the captured forward Formic outpost that the International Military uses as a base of operations to plan assaults on the Formic homeworld. Ender's Game is a mirror of the book. The final simulated battle between the International Military and the Formic armada is rendered in beautiful detail with military precision. It is a sight to be seen, especially in IMAX.

Fans of Orson Scott Card's original and revised work should be thrilled at the adaptation to the silver screen. Now is the time when movie magic FX can tell this tale in grand style. For those who have not read the book, they will find enjoyment in every surprising twist or turn. Ender's Game is a superb sci-fi daylight, grounded in the mind of a young man on the precipice of greatness.

No comments:

Post a Comment