Review: Ender's Game

This one definitely goes on that list of movies I never thought would get made.

I don’t even remember when I first read the book, but it’s been a long time. Probably middle school. I remember thinking even then that they characters didn’t act/talk much like six year olds (even six year old geniuses). Luckily, in the film version, they went with 16 year old Asa Butterfield (although he looks a few years younger even that that). It’s still pushing it, but I can see overly precocious pre-teen/teens.

Speaking of actors though, Harrison Ford is awesome. He’s over 70, but a whole history of action movies lends a certain gravitas to his roles. I can’t wait to see him in Star Wars VII (if that all works out). He growled out his lines with the best of him, the most perfect Colonel Graff I could imagine.

Overall, it was a straight forward enough adaptation. They did a much better job than I would have expected with most of the details and the battle room was truly spectacular. On the other hand, something about the computer simulations in command school just rubbed me the wrong way. The entire point is that Ender doesn’t realize what’s happening1. But with the high tech in your face nature of the display… It’s a bit harder to swallow.2.

Okay, now on to the elephant in the room. Orson Scott Card. The long and the short of it is that he espouses certain political and religious views which aren’t always the most popular. A lot of people were talking about either boycotting the movie outright or buying a ticket for another film and sneaking in. It all comes down to separating the artist from the art. If you can (and you liked the book), check out the movie. If you can’t, then you can’t. So it goes.

I enjoyed it. That’s enough for me.

  1. Spoilers. It came out in 1985… ↩︎

  2. Also, what’s with command school being in another solar system? The ansible and everything that meant was one of the best parts of the books. If they can send Ender to another star that easily… Sigh. ↩︎