Sure, it will be forgotten in a few weeks when another “Hunger Games” comes out. If you can get past the fact that the children in the film are forced to act like adults and are the human race’s only hope...”Ender’s Game” is a fun ride for a teen/tween film.
Asa Butterfield is Ender Wiggins. He’s a bright 12 year-old with an even brighter future in a world where humankind turns to children to fight their battles. Why children? They adapt faster and don’t think as streamlined as adults. After an attack on our planet was thwarted by Mazer Rackham (Sir Ben Kingsley), we’ve been training (kids) in preparation for the next attack. We find Ender as he’s just entered the program.
The first half of the film plays out like “Un Prophet” or “The Godfather”. Before you true film buffs stone me, let me explain. Ender proves his tactical proficiency as he slowly rises up the ranks from program peon to commander of a fleet. Outsmarting bullies and ranking officers while gaining the respect of his cohorts, he usually manages to turn enemies into friends as well. That look into the mental whit of Ender is enjoyable to watch as you slowly start to root for the awkward pre-teen.
The second half of the film focuses more on war games. Ender has to fight his inner demons and come to grips with his own moral code while Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) surprisingly pushes him towards the dark side (pun intended) in an effort to prepare him for battle. The second half of the film is equally as enjoyable as the first and sets us up for the possibility of another chapter.
It feels like the veterans like Viola Davis, Sir Kingsley and Harrison Ford are underused in the film. While it probably was a nice paycheck for them it also fits the story. The cast of teens and pre-teens gel together well and are believable as youngsters put in an intense situation.
“Ender’s Game” a coming of age story of a young boy who traverses the world of adult thinking while finding his own. It’s suspenseful at times, and fun to enter the futuristic sci-fi world that director Gavin Hood has created. If you’re looking for fun in the theater this weekend this film won’t let you down!