Ender’s Game (2013)

Ender’s Game (2013)
  • Time: 114 min
  • Genre: Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Gavin Hood
  • Cast: Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis


The Earth was ravaged by the Formics, an alien race seemingly determined to destroy humanity. Seventy years later, the people of Earth remain banded together to prevent their own annihilation from this technologically superior alien species. Ender Wiggin, a quiet but brilliant boy, may become the savior of the human race. He is separated from his beloved sister and his terrifying brother and brought to battle school in orbit around earth. He will be tested and honed into an empathetic killer who begins to despise what he does as he learns to fight in hopes of saving Earth and his family.


  • After reading the book recently I was very excited to find out that there was a movie being made. That excitement was stamped on pretty hard when I left the theater.

    Firstly, the children are too old. Secondly, Enders brother and Sister were hardly covered at all, in fact I think they filmed less than one page worth from the book. The movie moved far too quickly, the first part of the movie was so rushed I sat there and wondered what I just watched, it was skipping the story like a kangaroo on speed. Harrison Ford is done, he needs to retire because there is no character in him at all, very wooden. The kid, Asa Butterfield was great, but like in all movies, he needed better direction from the director. The end was rushed, a video game Ender plays is rushed, with loads missing. In the book he plays the video game for months, frustrated he couldn’t get past a level, in the film it was over a couple of days with no point to even putting it in there. The jokes were removed, the bullying was kept to a minimum and timescale was squashed so much so you just sat there thinking, what the hell? In the book he met his Sister years later, in this film it felt like weeks. Terrible. Everything that was good about the book was completely removed.

    Very disappointing. Could have been so much better, this could have been a classic if the right director was on it.

  • Ender’s Game is a movie based on the novel of the same name, written in 1985 by Orson Scott Card, which is supposed to be extremely popular, but I hadn’t heard of it until I saw the trailer for the movie – and therefore, I didn’t manage to read the novel. Many say the movie is awful, in comparison to the novel, and are also boycotting it because of Orson Scott Card’s opposition to gay marriage, and homosexuality in general. I didn’t know about this controversy either, but it’s obviously a difficult issue to resolve: can we separate the author from its work? And since the movie isn’t exactly/only Card’s work, should we boycott it? And since nobody seems to have boycotted the books, wouldn’t boycotting the movie be hypocritical? Finally, since the movie doesn’t deal with homosexuality at all, wouldn’t the boycott be pointless? I’m absolutely for gay rights and marriage, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to boycott this movie.

    In the future, Earth was attacked by an alien race known as Formics, and it was saved only thanks to the International Fleet Commander, Mazer Rackham’s sacrifice during battle. After the aliens were driven away, the International Military started training the best children on the planet for the (supposed) next Formic attack. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is recruited, one evening, by the prestigious Battle School, where he starts training with other children and young adults, under the ever-watching eyes of Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and Major Gwen Anderson (Viola Davis), a gentle soul who seems to be the only person to consider the recruits what they are – just children.

    I should start by saying that the trailer for this movie is one of the worst ever: it makes you want to just skip this movie, and it makes the movie itself look awful and boring. The only positive thing it does to you is that, when you actually see the movie, you’re pleasantly surprised. Ender’s Game deals with tough topics, like violence, relationships among people, war and human psychology. Ender doesn’t think it makes any sense to attack the Formics if they are not attacking Earth, and yet keeps on kicking people after he’s won the fight with them and they are just lying on the floor – ‘to prevent them from attacking again’. He’s constantly reminded of this contradiction by the ruthless Colonel Graff and often fights him because of his views on war. The movie has managed to explore this topic in a very good way, which should be praised: it’s not just another pointless Sci-Fi, and it’s not for children (only).

    The main character is played by Asa Butterfield, whom you might remember as the character Hugo in the extremely successful movie of the same name. Here, he delivers another great performance and carries the whole story masterfully. Harrison Ford is a very good sometimes-antagonist, and can be truly difficult to take sides when his and Asa’s characters fight. It’s also interesting to get Viola Davis’ character’s view on the whole thing – as I said before, she sees the recruits as just children who can’t psychologically take the war, and often confronts Colonel Graff about this. The CGI is excellent in this movie, but the thing that I liked the most is that the movie isn’t CGI-focused. Most of it happens inside a space ship, and the few views of space and Earth that we get are wonderful. The only downside of the movie happens in the end, but there’s no point in spoiling that. All in all, Ender’s Game is a movie that will satisfy your need for a smart Sci-Fi, if you decide to see it.

    Rating: 7/10

    Read more reviews at http://passpopcorn.com/

  • Ender’s Game 6/10- I am not a huge fan of Asa Butterfield or Gavin Hood’s films, but this is the best film I have seen by both of them. Don’t get me wrong I loved Hugo, but it had nothing to do with Asa Butterfield. Ender’s Game though was Asa’s best work by far.

    The movie somewhat grabs your attention at the beginning with interesting concepts, and the story gets much better throughout the film. The movie had very good action sequences that surprised me and everyone in the theater. The zero gravity battles in particular were the highlights of the movie for me and everyone that I have talked too. The movie does a good job of not just putting action in the movie for the sake of action. They follow a good concise plot with the action only adding on to it. The design was pretty good all around, even though it was set in the future, it all seemed believable.

    I have not read the books, but from all I have heard about them, the movie stays in line with the key plot points. The movie focuses on Ender’s training process more than anything else. The movie does not have any clichés during the training either like a love relationship or a bully that continually torments him like most teenage-centered action films. Ender’s ability to analyze situations and take the necessary course of action is brilliantly displayed. Asa Butterfield particular displays this type of the character flawlessly with everyone believing that he is a Steven Hawking type. The only part of Asa Butterfield’s performance that is weak is when he has to show true powerful emotions, but thankfully the movie did not have much of that. Harrison Ford’s character was one that I have never seen him play before, but he made it look like he has been doing that type of aggressive, emotionless character his whole life. The other performances all did a decent job because the casting department did a chose each of them masterfully.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/frozen–enders-game.html

  • “There’s only one kid on this launch with any brains at all so far, and that’s Ender Wiggin.”

    Brace yourself for again a graphically stunning looking SF, with a strong beginning, a story that will make you frown your eyebrows and a fairly disappointing end. It’s again based on a book I haven’t read. The good news is, it’s not a very complicated story. It’s not that you’ll be completely lost after a while because you didn’t read the book in which the details are usually described. You’ll notice as the movie progresses that it’s a youth book. I couldn’t get rid of the impression that this was a sort of “Harry Potter in Space”. A magic boy possesses certain qualities that adults have been looking for since a long time. He’s repeatedly called “The One” (an echoing reverberating sound effect wouldn’t be out of place here) and he’s apparently a wet dream of the leader of the cadet school (Harrison Ford). Of course, this little boy is looked at as an emerging hero and hailed for his intelligence that others apparently do not possess cause of a momentary brain disorder. Strange, because after all they also belong to the select group of highly intellectual kids. Well anyway, it leads to resentment, jealousy and hate. But our friend Ender eventually turns the tide and gathers together a fan base to protect the earth’s population against the oncoming swarm of Formics.

    As I said already, this SF is an eye catcher. I bet the “Special Effects” department has spent a lot of money on this one. It looks nice, crispy and flashy. As a SF fan you’ll start to drool for sure. The comparison with recent works such as “Oblivion”, “Elysium” and “Prometheus” is obvious. Even “Gravity” is included when it’s about the images from space with a beautiful planet at the background. I even got flashbacks from earlier films like “Battlestar Galactica,” “Independence Day” and “The Black Hole”. Generally you can say that it looked fine and worked out into perfection. The space battles in both the simulator and the real one, looked pretty impressive. The alien spacecrafts that moved like a flock of starlings was magnificent to see. And indeed, the heroic deed by Mazer Rackham looked like a duplicate of scenes out of “Independence Day”.

    The performances were usually excellent. No Oscar material, but nothing that really annoyed me. Asa Butterfield was a convincing Ender. Harrison Ford was a confident Colonel who has no problem with the fact that they actually are training kid soldiers. Viola Davis, the psychologist on board, was a convincing motherly military. And the rest of the little ones did what they had to do: or they were from the beginning an adoring friend of Ender (Petra and Co) or buggers who immediately began to tease him. Moisos Arias was the best example. In Ender’s place, I would have kicked this South American annoying brat into space.

    The thing that started to annoy me was the content of the story. Indeed it’s kept simple and rather childish. Initially I don’t have a problem with that. The run-up to the training was fascinating to watch and kept my attention. I just started to question myself about the usefulness of the whole training since later on, they didn’t make much use of it anyway. It looked like a sort of “Quidditch” but then in space suits. And you could also win the game by getting someone of your own team through the opponents gate, instead of throwing a ball through it! It was a pleasure to see the various team members floating around in those glass balls. But that was it. Only some floating around! The idea of those little guys learning a kind of Lasergun teen game and afterwards using real war material to teach those aliens a lesson, kind of felt unreal and surrealistic. The lack of explanation about the relationship between Ender and his brother Peter and sister Valentine was kind of a disappointment. I wanted to know more about that. It would have been interesting material. And as a grand finale Ender suddenly transformed into a Good Samaritan and was outraged about the fact they have lied to him. I thought they were preparing him for this task anyway and that he fully understood that. But no, the little fellow got extremely mad and suddenly he unravels the complete mystery and goes on his last mission as Admiral to accomplish a promise he made. Deep disappointment !

    I can only conclude that it’s a visually delightful film. The story is of a childish level, but is actually still a bridge too far for the youngest. But I found the end a huge letdown that screwed up the rest of the movie.


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