‘Ender’s Game’ begins with a bang


Richard Foreman Jr./MCT

Moises Arias, form left, Hailee Steinfeld and Asa Butterfield star in “Ender’s Game.”

The first born is a child of hate and anger. The second child is one of compassion and love. The third child, born only through government permission, is a perfect mix, an empathetic warrior. He is the perfect tool. However, when game on turns into game over, Ender has to make a decision. This is no longer a child’s game. This is Ender’s game.

“Ender’s Game” is set on futuristic Earth. After an attack on Earth, the International Military has set up an offensive to take out the seemingly vicious alien race, the Formics. Andrew Wiggin, nicknamed Ender, has been chosen as one of many by a private school and recruited to train for this military procedure to possibly save the human race. This film follows Ender as he endures the difficult schools, battle his own flaws and play the colonel’s ‘games.’

The plot is spectacular. From the very beginning, it introduces many human flaws and shows Ender overcoming them. The overview seems pretty simple, for Ender to achieve promotion after promotion until he has the chance to save the world. However, the story line is more about the lessons he learns and the lessons he teaches. At the end, there is a lesson of humanity and morality that I saw coming, but the way it happened was surprising.

Asa Butterfield, Ender, plays a wonderful boy genius. He is the ideal actor for the knowledgeable and mature child. Harrison Ford, Colonel Graff, is a character anyone can immediately love to hate. Indiana Jones steps out of the spotlight to play a colonel who knows exactly what he wants from the get-go and knows how to get it and Ford does an exceptional job at portraying that. However, Moises Arias, Bonzo Madrid, does not play a cut-throat character as much as the deceitful child from his Disney days on ‘Hannah Montana’. Throughout the film I kept expecting him to laugh his teenage-angst off as a joke and give Ender a pat on the back.

Ender’s Game is based off a book by Orson Scott Card. There are a few important differences between the two. Ender is not a six-year-old kid aging into adulthood, but instead a teenage boy. There are also vital differences with his anger management in the movie to make him more likeable.  Valentine and Peter are also fairly undeveloped compared to the book adaption, which may displease fans.

About an hour into the movie, there is a stereotypical love story that begins to brew between Ender and Petra. However, this is not a movie where a love story is needed or even wanted. The annoying love sequences takes away from the protagonists strengths and doesn’t do a thing in the least to humanize them. After all, these are supposed to be young children.

The effects throughout the film were quite spectacular. The scenery, from Earth to outer space, was breathtaking. The aliens and even the special effects of the complex hand-held game were astounding. This Sci-Fi adventure does not leave any visuals lacking.

However, camera was exceedingly shaky and unusual in zero gravity scenes, which, as this space movie would have it, are frequent. As several shots were out of focus, upside down, and spinning out of gravity my headache started at a pain level of a hangnail and moved all the way to perpetual stubbed toe. While it may be appropriate for zero-gravity it is not something I would like to see.  We get that it is spinning, please stop spinning the camera before I hurl.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Ender’s Game to everyone without a vertigo problem. The story and effects are extraordinary and will leave any audience member on the edge of their seat as Ender completes his coming-of-age story with all the war and love one could ask for. And some love we didn’t ask for. Or want.