Friday, November 1, 2013

Ender's Game Review

IT'S HERE!!! ENDER'S GAME IS FINALLY HERE!!!! I have actually been waiting for this movie to come out for a long time. I first read Ender's Game back when I was in Junior High School and I've been hearing rumors of a movie ever since. And I'm sure those rumors had been going before then, because the almost 30-year-old book is considered a sci-fi classic. However, author Orson Scott Card has been super stingy about his book and rejected multiple scripts brought to him. If they were going to make his movie, they were going to make it right or not at all. Honestly, I respect that so much! I wish more authors had that mindset because then we wouldn't have disaster movies like Eragon. But finally, after many years, Card came across a script he liked and now we have our movie!

Quickly, though, I need express a few quick thoughts about the actual book. Yes, I'll be honest, when I first read it, my Junior High mind was rather shocked at how it ended and found it slightly anti-climatic. Since then, I've had many years to ponder the ending and have actually grown to really like it. What I never was a huge fan of was the age of the kids. Yes, raising young people is a huge part of the plot, but I've always thought that ages 6-12 was a little ridiculous. Also, I wasn't a fan of all the kids walking around naked so often. Knowing that the movie would fix both of these problems, I became super excited for the movie to come out.

Having heard that the movie would be significantly different than the book, but knowing that Orson Scott Card was fine with that, I went into the movie expecting it to be a lot different and I was fine that. That said, I ended up being quite surprised at the fact that it was actually followed the book quite well. Yes, the book was rather dense and if they were to follow every detail, it would be a four hour movie. This is the problem that all book to movie adaptions have. Some do it well, others don't. Ender's Game was one that did it well. The changes they made were appropriate, like say the Bonzo fight or the ages of the kids like I mentioned before. They made sure to include everything they needed to. And the things they cut out I was fine with them cutting out. The Valentine and Peter story line on Earth was an example of that last one. Sure it was interesting, but it added nothing to the plot of this specific book.

More praise about the movie. The cast was perfect. Asa Butterfield played Ender and he was the perfect Ender. That kid deserves some serious praise. Hailee Steinfeld was great as Petra. Abigail Breslin was great as Valentine. Then of course we have our adult actors. Harrison Ford was Colonel Graff, Viola Davis was Major Anderson, and Ben Kingsley was the worst kept secret of Mazer Rackham. All three of those are super good in everything they do and this was no different. All together, you can look at this cast as just brilliant. And they all fit their characters just perfectly. In addition to the great cast, the visual effects of the movie are amazing. For example, I don't know how I imagined the battle room, but in the movie it was much cooler than I could've imagined. And that's one reason I'm glad Card held his ground on this movie. Back in the day they wouldn't have been able to come up with effects like this.

Now if there are any complaints I have about the movie, it's the unavoidable ones. Because of the limited amount of time they had, it was necessary for them to go pretty fast through the movie. This made it so that there wasn't enough time to dive deeper into the characters and thus the character progression wasn't as good as it could've been and some characters like Bean were essentially forgotten about. If you hadn't read the books, you wouldn't have even had any idea that Bean was a huge part of the book. And yes, they could've spent more time in the battle room because it seemed like Ender rose through the ranks super fast.

Overall, though, I was very pleased with Ender's Game. If you are a big fan of the book, I can confidently tell you that the movie does the book justice. If you've never read the book, I believe that this is a sci-fi adventure that you will enjoy, and it may spark an interest for you to check the book out. I will give Ender's Game a solid 8 out of 10.

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