Review: ENDER’S GAME

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.” – Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game

It is the future, and humans are living in fear of being taken over by an alien race (Formics). Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) defeated the Formics and saved the world 25 years ago, and even though there has been peace since then, the International Military won’t rest until the Formics have been destroyed.

Colonel Hyram Graff (Harrison Ford) must find the person to lead the army that will once and for all destroy the Formics. It is believed that because children have grown up in a world of technology, they are best suited to lead the battle. They operate on instinct. The genius child that Colonel Graff thinks will save the world is the highly talented and inquisitive, Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield).

I have to say I am not a big fan of sci-fi movies. I just can’t buy the whole, the world is going to be taken over by the ugliest looking aliens we have ever seen on screen, and it is up to one person to save the entire universe! So, I was quite cynical going into this film and I was ready not to like it.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this film (based on the book of the same name) captivated me from word go. I cared about the characters and where this story was going. Even though in this case, it was up to one of the smartest kids ever to save us all!

All the pressure is on Ender’s shoulders to save the world and on Butterfield’s shoulders to make this film work. If lead child wasn’t strong enough, the film wouldn’t work.

Butterfield played Ender perfectly. He was not precocious or annoying. Instead he was icy and steely whilst also vulnerable. This is such a mature performance from someone so young. Butterfield looked like he really knew what he was doing and I was happy to leave the fete of the world in his hands.

Butterfield was aptly supported by his younger cast members, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Aramis Knight, Suraj Partha, and Conor Carroll.

But it’s not all about the kids in this film. They are lead by fantastic adult actors – the likes of Viola Davis, Harrison Ford, and Ben Kingsley.

At times Ender’s Game feels like a video game – but that’s not a bad thing. It’s the best of the gaming world meets the movie world. The visuals, and use of all the  latest technology, is outstanding.

Even though Ender’s Game is set in a futuristic world and the enemy is an alien race, lessons can be taken from it. Think before you hit. Understand before you attack. And is winning at all costs really the right thing? 

Ender’s Game is a very sophisticated take on the 80’s kids save the world type films (Goonies, The Lost Boys). We haven’t seen many of those types of films successfully done this millenium (the best I have seen was Stephen Spielberg and JJ Abram’s, nostalgic, Super 8).

I thoroughly enjoyed the ride Ender’s Game was taking me. I was very surprised to see that I was sucked in and rooting for Ender to save us all. It was all going well until the last five minutes. The ending went off the rails and is a let down.

If you can forgive the actual ending of Ender’s Game, and in your mind let it end 5 minutes before the credits roll, then this is well worth making the trip to the cinema for.

About The Bellissimo Files

Hi, I’m Sarina Bellissimo and this is the place I come to indulge in my love of all things entertainment. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t fascinated by all things Hollywood/showbiz. I blame my parents! As a child my mum used to force me to watch old Elvis Presley films with her, and both my mum & dad would take my brothers and I to the Drive-In to watch the latest films (this is where my love for ROCKY began!). When not watching movies, I was trying to figure out ways to pull the back off the TV so I could somehow get into it and be a part of all the action on the screen! This blog isn’t a place that revels in gossip and negativity. It’s a place where entertainment is celebrated. That said, this is a place you can turn to for honesty. Honesty and criticism don’t always mean attacks. I choose to criticise the piece of work but not the person and I acknowledge that just because I don’t like something, it doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Here you’ll find interviews with some of the biggest names in the world of Entertainment, reviews, breaking news and my very own musings. Away from The Bellissimo Files, you can find me on Spin 1038 on Saturdays, between 1pm and 3pm,presenting Plan B. There’s celebrity interviews, entertainment news, the low down on the must see movies and music releases of the week, the ultimate guide to what’s on where in the city, as well as masterclasses with experts on standby to answer listeners’ questions. I also appear on TV3’s “Elaine” panel, talk movies on “Ireland AM” and you can sometimes hear me filling in on Moncrieff’s “Movies and Booze “(Newstalk) The Bellissimo Files is constantly evolving. Files (topics) will be added or deleted as time goes on. Feel free to read, watch, comment, share, and make suggestions for what you would like to see on the site. Sarina
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