Sound Off: Gavin Hood's 'Ender's Game' Adaptation - Your Thoughts?
by Alex Billington
November 1, 2013
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Remember: the enemy's gate is down. First published in 1985, now hitting the big screen in 2013. Orson Scott Card's sci-fi story Ender's Game has been adapted into a movie by writer/director Gavin Hood (of Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine previously), starring Asa Butterfield as young Ender Wiggin, recruited by Harrison Ford as Col. Graff to the International Fleet. There he trains to command an army and prevent another attack on Earth. So how is it? Does it live up to the book at all? If you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Gavin Hood's Ender's Game.
Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, this is an open discussion from this point on! Beware of spoilers, don't ruin this film!
To fight the buggers, I enjoyed Ender's Game and appreciate that it was made, but I didn't love it. The visual effects are big and exciting and the story is all there, but unfortunately it lacks much of the more complex story beats to make it as good as the book. I thought Asa Butterfield did a solid job, I was bored by Harrison Ford, and despite the odd make-up, I thought Ben Kingsley was solid but lackluster. The best scenes involve Ender with the other kids, but they glossed over the Battle Room scenes way too quickly. Only a few of the battles were shown (I wanted more!) and they weren't that exciting. We never see Ender learn certain values that are important to his character which takes away from his journey to becoming the man he is at the end.
Overall, this Ender's Game movie is admittedly solid and wasn't as big of a disaster as it could've been, but is also very far from what it should've been. My feeling is that the movie was over-manufactured by a studio hungry for another franchise. It spends too much time trying to build itself up as a popular young adult series with sequels on the way rather than actually telling the more adult, the more intimate, the deeper story found in the book. That is honestly its biggest fault, glossing over the more important details in the story in service of glossy entertainment designed for a specific demographic. But that's just my own opinion.
So what did you think of Gavin Hood's Ender's Game? Awesome sci-fi action or one big mess? We will remove any comments that indicate you have not seen the movie, as this area is meant to discuss the film only once you have seen it and can talk about your thoughts. Please keep the comments civilized!