Monday, May 25, 2015

"Ender's Game" the movie

I have a few movies DVR'd from a free HBO weekend, one of which is "Ender's Game" with Harrison Ford and young Asa Butterfield as the titular character.  I read the book a LONG time ago and knew how the movie would end, but was curious as to how the movie would depict the book.  It jumps right away into the thick of it with Ender at starting as his training to be a leader in the fight to defeat the Formic army, ant-like aliens from outer space, which 50 years ago tried to invade the Earth.  It is a little ridiculous watching these teens all serious about boot camp, but that is what the book is about.  In fact, these teens may in fact be older than the kids in the book.  There is not much back story for Ender.  He is plopped into the plot right away as "The One" (think Neo, Luke Skywalker) to save the world.  I had read the book so I remember a bit more about his story, so I think people who hadn't read the book will be missing some to the emotional background to Ender.  But it is a complicated story and the movie does what it can in its restricted time.  While the characterizations, and frankly minimal acting of most of the cast, are shallow or nonexistent, the movie really shines in its training sequences in the Battle Room where the teens battle each other in zero gravity in teams.  The kids fly around shooting each other and bouncing off objects, and actually, it looks very realistic in the way they bounce around, not fake CGI looking at all.  The ending of the movie doesn't make much sense to me, and I seem to recall that part of story in the sequel book which I also read a LONG time ago, but I could be mistaken.  It gets very mystical at the end which is strange, but I recall the sequel "Speaker for the Dead" to be somewhat mystical.  So, as an action flick it's a pretty decent movie.  It kept me interested the whole time.  Asa Butterfield doesn't have much to work with dialogue wise, but he does his best with what he has.  Harrison Ford doesn't have much to work with either, but his is very good with "world-weary" and "grizzzled." If you're in the mood for a different science fiction movie, try this one.

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