Movie review: “Ender’s Game”

It has been slightly over two weeks since the film adaption of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel “Ender’s Game” first hit theatres. Though reactions have been mixed, everyone agrees that the movie is a visual thriller of the sort that Hollywood is so legendary for. Beautiful cinematics, concepts and character design come together to create a work of art that is especially captivating on the big screen. This is one of those rare movies that deserves to be seen whilst it’s still larger than life. And while viewers can still hear the spine-vibrating soundtrack the way it was meant to be: with boulder-sized speakers hanging from every corner, niche and plane of wall.

The first few minutes of the movie lay the groundwork, which even those who have seen the trailer should be familiar with, but for those who hold even the barest scraps of plot to be sacred be warned that this paragraph will contain minor spoilers. Set in a not-too-distant future, the world is governed by a united military establishment which took power after the Formics, large insectoid aliens, attempted and failed to colonize Earth. In order to eliminate any future threat from this alien species, the world’s leaders have banded together to create the greatest military power ever known. This military might is to then be commanded by children, who are believed to be more capable of handling and learning vast and complex data. In comes Ender, super boy wonder, who is not only the greatest mind mankind has, but also a rebel who cannot follow orders blindly.

Fans of the book know that this story is emotionally rich, intellectually complex and imagery-dense. The movie, as with all film adaptions, tries its very best to balance the mountain of information and character development with the visual stimulus that a book cannot achieve, and it does well under the circumstances.

As one who has sampled both book and movie, it is simply a matter of time. The movie could not hope to achieve the level of detail that Orson Scott Card is famous for in the almost two hours allotted, and in many ways, it cannot be blamed for this. Perhaps the books should have been adapted to a television format, but then where would my boulder-sized speakers be? For those who have not read the books, the movie is grand and should be caught while it is still in theaters. For those who have read the book and cannot get past expectations, I might suggest waiting for the director’s cut. In the meantime, get at least four boulder-sized speakers and place them around your entertainment system at key positions.

This is a movie worth crying over. It is so, so rare to see a child shown in such a self-sacrificing, messianic light as this, and the manner in which Ender holds himself, the human race and in fact all life he encounters, is something to look up to. Spend the 10 bucks.