Friday, March 7, 2014

Saturday Movies: Ender's Game (2013)

So to be honest I was expecting a lot more before watching Ender's Game. I was expecting to at least be interested, and honestly throughout I was just really bored. Maybe it was that everyone was too robotic or just that the story didn't entertain? Either way I felt like I wanted to zone out throughout the entire duration of the movie. It's not that the story is bad, or even that the acting is lacking, but it certainly isn't entertaining or compelling.

Summary: Formics are an alien species that have already almost destroyed humans' existence, but not humans have banded together to continue to fight back from their take over. Ender Wiggin almost believes he is no good to join the fight, until he is recruited to battle school where he will learn to fight from a computer. Fighting from a computer though is nothing like the video games he is practicing on though, and when it comes to the real thing Wiggin might not have the capacity to take the destruction with his quiet demeanor.

Acting: The acting is pretty good, even from the child actors who aren't always that strong. Harrison Ford will be a recognizable face from the movie as Colonel Graff, who puts a lot of pressure on Ender to be a lot for such a young kid. Asa Butterfield portrays Ender, and does a good job, but sometimes I felt he was going for more of a robot or alien vibe than remembering the kid was human though, but otherwise his portrayal is suiting. Hailee Steinfield, from True Grit fame, is also in the movie as another child in battle school. Abigail Breslin shines for the few scenes she has as Ender's sister, Valentine. Viola Davis also appears in the movie as the woman who appears alongside Colonel Graff, Majo Gwen Anderson, and there is Ben Kingsley as Mazer Beckham. Overall no one was really bad in their roles, but something kept me from ever really connecting with them as well.

Filming: Ender's Game is a visually stunning movie. The graphics highlight the dark effect of space, but also lights it up at time with color as well. I guess unless you're a strong sci-fi fan though, it doesn't matter how amazing the visuals are because it isn't interesting to really get into the fight scenes or anything else when you're struggling with grasping how to get into the story itself.

Plot: In a way the story is admirable of how it shows a young boy transitioning into the harsh realities of adult hood. Many who will watch this movie will be fans of the novel, and the movie has to go way out of it's way to make some changes to get the flow of the story more natural for movie storytelling. Instead of Ender finding out he wasn't just playing a video game, but fighting a real war, it's instead revealed from the beginning of the movie that he is fighting a war. I think this does ruin some aspects of thriller and build up of the story, and it becomes more of a kid frightened by what he finds he is capable of apart of battle.

Ender's Game will appeal to some, but it's not the best of the genre, and you might need to already be a fan of the genre to enjoy. Then again the main watcher of book's translated to movies will be the readers, and you might be disappointed with the play out of the story. The actors are good as well, but there is something lacking emotionally that gives it a more robotic feel.

Rating 5 of 10.

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