– No Spoiler Alert –
I have wanted to write this review for a long time, but didn’t have the time. Now my book, Living Like A Vampire (Suckers Book 1), is at the printer, I finally have some spare time.
Ender’s Game is a film from 2013, based on the 1985 novel by American author Orson Scott Card. It is an excellent sci-fi movie for teenagers and up.
It plays in a future where the world has been attacked by an insect like species. Due to the heroic actions of a single, half-Maori fighter named Mazer Rahkam, played by Ben Kingsley, the earth won the battle. Now, so many years later, the human race is training youngsters to battle these alien creatures at their home planet, to prevent another invasion.
Normally couples are only allowed two children, but Ender’s parents received special permission to have a third. Ender Wiggin, played by Asa Butterfield, is not as aggressive as his older brother, nor as empathic as his older sister. He shows signs of a perfect warrior, able to plan strategically ahead, and is advanced in the training program by Colonel Hyrum Graph, played by Harrison Ford, who will do anything to defeat the aliens. This causes some conflict along the way. On his way up, Ender gathers a group of followers who stand by him as he takes his final exam.
The movie has a fantastic suspense arch, with surprises around every corner. It has moment of laughter, sadness, suspense, action, camaraderie, a tiny bit of horror, and love.
Most of all the movie is about relationships; inner conflict, between siblings, between peers, between leader-follower, between superior-subordinate, between races. This all happens weaved throughout the movie, not dolloped on. The moral of the story is more shocking, but ever so effective.
Graphics are excellent, as is the flow. I can’t recall the music, but it didn’t distract me either, so it must have been good.
Performances are very convincing. Asa Butterfield did an excellent job. People may know him from his leading roles in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Hugo. He also plays in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Of course Harrison Ford portrayed the obsessed Colonel fantastically and Ben Kingsley gained a Maori accent to be as convincing as possible. To see him with all these tattoos on his face was weird though.
All in all, this is an excellent movie to watch with your (teenaged) kids. It will entertain and give you food for thought to talk about afterwards.
I give it a 9/10.