By Christopher Null, Editor
Three…two…one…BLAST OFF, to probably one of worst films of the year to hit screens on an international scale. Being a sci-fi film based off Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel, “Ender’s Game” falls short in an already long line of novel-based films. Director and writer of this movie’s screenplay, Gavin Hood, lives up to his expectations as an unknown name in the movie-making business as he fails to deliver a truly climactic movie experience.
The first matter at hand is addressing all of the concerned fans of their beloved novel being adapted to fit the big screen. Card is quoted referencing this film saying, “[it’s] the best that good people could do …” He goes on to warn fans that though the film is “damn good”, it is not a completely faithful adaptation of this novel. Card clearly states that he was uneasy about having his creation twisted by someone else. He confirms that he wanted Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker from The Phantom Menace) to be the one portraying Ender initially and to change Colonel Graff to a female character to be played by Rosie O’Donnell as to input a “dry comic” into the story.
The other aspect to consider in the film is the cast-to-special effects trade-off. “Ender’s Game” is largely child-starred with Harrison Ford being the big name to grab people’s attention alongside a few English actors as well. With that in mind, this $110 million dollar movie spent most of its budget towards production value which says a lot more to the audience than any other character in this film. Asa Butterfield portrays Andrew “Ender” Wiggin as the isolated, over-achiever who has a conflicting personal life with static looks of confusion and unhinged aggression at any moment. The relationship between Butterfield’s character and Sir Ben Kingsley’s is the only one in which you may feel a sincere emotional depth despite their limited screen time. Harrison Ford plays Colonel Graff as the hard-headed, obsessed military leader lacking all of his prior charm he once instilled to his past sci-fi roles. As for the other no-named child actors, their acting abilities range from bully to best friend with little to no gray in-between.
Story telling has come a long way since its pre-historic inception. Although this film’s peace and war motif is a classic being told through the eyes of a child prodigy, everything from Ender’s monotone monologues to the numerous plot holes helps rush the story along in this nearly two-hour long drudge through acting mud and noticeable Little Tikes style of directing. As for this film being yet another based off an already published tale, it will fall greater than any other novel-based film before it. Films such as “Harry Potter,” “Twilight,” and “Hunger Games” have proven to be great films because of the demographic each film was following. “Ender’s Game” loses because of the direction its filmmaker decided to take it. It is a movie for kids by kids.