Friday, November 1, 2013

Ender's Game

First of all, you must know that Ender's Game is actually from a sci-fi book that was written in the 80s. It is Young Adult (YA) in theme. Big parts of the book are omitted, so don't expect that from this film. That said, the use of children as strategic leaders is still the same. Ender is played by the very experienced Asa Butterfield (lately of HUGO). He does a wonderful job as the precocious child capable of hard decisions in the "battlefield", but empathetic enough to be a leader. It is a common enough theme, but Ender's Game adds an adult involvement that actually encourages that sort of child aggressiveness.  There isn't enough tension in it to make you too nervous- and you won't really be on the edge of your seat, because most of us know it is part of a serial, therefore, Ender won't be killed off right away, if ever. Harrison Ford looks positively CREAKY in this- he is physically stiff and somewhat rote in his performance. Hilariously,  Ben Kingsley shows up all dramatic in tattooed face. (really? yes.)  And Viola Davis is sort of the space academy shrink trying to put in her two cents about these being children, after all. I liked it a lot because I did not expect it to be Star Trek 21 or whatever. In fact, I had no expectations whatsoever. There isn't a lot of adult banter or inside jokes because there aren't any to be had. SO for adults, it might be a little beneath them. I can see a 12 year old boy going CRAZY over this. There is violence. But not shootings or stabbings- just beatings. The special effects are pretty good- I mean, I believed in the huge ants. So, if you like sci-fi and like being able not to be too worried about how things work out, this is your cup of formic acid. Just saying.