A recent release in theatres, “Ender’s Game,” is an adaptation of a young adult’s science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card. The movie consequently targets young adults which makes it PG, but don’t let that discourage you. “Ender’s Game” has lofty goals and does its best to make you think about ideas that are applicable to more than just tweens. Also, it uses its big budget fairly effectively on special effects and a star studded cast.
Based solely on the first forty five minutes, I would say that I didn’t love this movie. Since it is a book adaptation, it took a while to set the scene but once it got going, “Ender’s Game” caught my attention. It tries really hard to get the viewers to think deeply about power and morality, maybe a little too obviously. All the right elements of an action film are there but the acting comes off as shallow and forced during some of the serious moments. The score adds to this since it has a broad and sweeping sound that toes the line of being cheesy. In contrast, the special effects are epic and heavily used because of the futuristic setting. There are a few particular scenes that blend graphic styles normally reserved for video games into the film with a striking effect.
As for the cast, it includes a wide variety of well-known actors including Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin and Harrison Ford. Ford portrays a gruff leading figure who is more like a Yoda with questionable morals than a dashing Han Solo. That role goes to our unlikely hero of Ender Wiggin, played by Asa Butterfield. Butterfield is starkly different from your average hero in that his slight, fragile frame doesn’t match up with the leadership roles he is given. Ender’s battle with himself about what is right forms the basis for the plot. Ultimately, it makes for an enjoyable coming of age story.