'Ender's Game' Review

'Ender's Game' movie review

Ender's Game is rated PG-13 and runs 114 minutes.  The cast includes Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steifeld, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley and Aramis Knight.  It's directed by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, TV: Breakout Kings.) who also wrote the screenplay adaptation.

Ender's Game is about an Earth that barely survived an alien species attack, and from that point in time, humanity realized they had to prepare for another attempted incursion.  Humanity pulls together and form Earth's International Military.

This military org has decided that to prepare for the next attack, they must seek out fresh minds that have a unique tactical perspective on the battlefield.  Someone who can lead the military fleet in defense of Earth against the buggers or Formics.

But adults are muddled in old-school tactics.  Hence, they end up looking to recruit children for this new military leader role.  To sort it out, they present the children with a series of video games and training schools to weed out the fodder and choose their new leader.
It's a life style ingrained in society.

Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield in 'Ender's Game'

We come in when Col Graf (Ford) has decided to recruit Ender Wiggin (Butterfield) because he meets a number of criteria and he thinks that he's the "man" for the job.

From there we follow Ender as he trains in battle school, and his progression within the training program and beyond.


The movie is pretty faithful to the book, with the exception of edits or choices made of what made it into the movie to keep the narrative in motion.

Where for me battle school was more of the book and Ender's learning experiences, in the movie,  it and other things like the mind game were reduced to a few turnkey moments to express the impact these locations have on story developments.

The movie itself was a fun representation of the book and if you've never read the book, is still a great story of human hope and the desperation behind our survival.

Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield in 'Ender's Game'

Butterfield doesn't look like any kind of film hero I know, but he grew on me as Ender Wiggin and by the end of the movie, I was believing.  Ford delivers the hope of humanity in his presence and his training. Kingsley brought the magic and mystique of Mazer Rackham to life.


Overall Ender's Game was well worth the money spent at the theater and I'd give it a popcorn 8 out of 10.

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