I have previously reviewed Orson Scott Card’s award winning novel Ender’s Game in preparation for the now released epic film directed by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine). I have to say, I was not disappointed. While the out of touch film critics have given it mixed reviews (despite the move being number 1 at the box office), I give it a positive review.
Ender Wiggins is a rare kid. He’s a one of many child geniuses that the International Fleet has recruited in preparation for the return of the Formacs invasion fleet. Ender is treated differently than the other kids. As his superiors work tirelessly to isolate him so that he can be tested to see if he is worthy to lead the earth fleet into battle, he misses his sister Valentine. However, he finds new friends as he starts out at the Academy, then to Battle School, and finally Command School.
The film features an all-star cast including: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley, among others. I will warn fans that the film leaves out several subplots from the novel, including Peter (Ender’s violent older brother) and Valentine (Ender’s sweet sister) attempt to influence earth politics. It also decreased the amount of time Ender spent at Battle School and passes over the amount of exhaustion that Ender’s superiors put him through. Also, they left out the fact humans call Formacs “buggers.” It is a bit rushed at times and the ending was not as climatic as the book.
Aside from these forgivable transgressions, the film pays homage to the book and follows it very closely. I highly recommend it to fans of the book and to science fiction enthusiasts. I would like to say that Harrison Ford stole the show as Colonel Graff, though Asa Butterfield does an excellent job as Ender.
FAVORITE QUOTE: In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, language, all including children
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- 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
- Orson Scott Card as The Pilot (cameo role)