Based on: Orson Scott Card’s novel “Ender Game“
Genre: Sci Fi Action
Running Time: 120 minutes
Director-writer: Gavin Hood
Cast: Asa Butterfield (as Ender Wiggins), Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley
Synopsis: The Earth was ravaged twice by the Buggers, an alien race seemingly determined to destroy humanity. Seventy years later, the people of Earth remain banded together to prevent our own annihilation from this technologically superior alien species. Ender Wiggin, a boy of only six, may become the savior of the human race. He is separated from his beloved sister and brought to battle school in deep space. He will be tested and honed into an empathetic killer who despises himself as he learns to fight in hopes of saving Earth and his family.
Release date in Malaysia: November 7th 2013
Distributor / studios: GSC Movies / (multiple studios)
Verdict: If I was 12 years old when I watched this, Ender’s Game may have been one of the coolest movies for me… but I’m in my late 20s now and I find most scenes in the first half of the film unintentionally hilarious. Although it has a better second half with decent sci-fi space battleship action and a good performance by Asa Butterfield, the film is thoroughly cheesy with kiddish script and the CGI looks inferior to some video games of today. I was told that the book that the film’s based on is very thought-provoking, unfortunately this adaptation seems like it wasn’t produced for audience that enjoy deeper movies. Nonetheless, for kids, it’s probably fantastic, ’cause it’s like Percy Jackson, but wiser, cooler, and in space.
Second opinion: Despite laughing at most scenes with me, my girlfriend thought that it was watchable.
What adults may laugh about when watching Ender’s Game:
The kids are chosen to be enrolled into the Battle School through their performance in games on tablets. Ender’s parents are a bit disappointed when they thought he failed to be enrolled into the Battle School but when he’s offered a place, they don’t seem to approve. Ender’s bad ass brother tells him to play “alien vs. human” with him and Ender doesn’t seem to be able to foresee that he’s probably gonna get beaten up; and instead, he puts on the alien mask as told, not very smart isn’t he? Why would there be an alien mask produced in the first place when it was them that almost annihilated the entire human race? The cadets (kids) have to train hand-to-hand combat, does that mean they are expected fight the aliens that do not have limbs like humans, off battleship and absent weapon? The ending kind of reminds me of I Am Legend‘s twist (which the latest film adaptation of the novel screwed up).
The author of the original novel, Orson Scott Card, is known but being anti-homosexuality and same sex marriage. I believe the director, Gavin Hood, just trolled him with a pretty gay sequence between Ender and Bean (another boy) in the first Battle Room scene. I almost laughed my anus off watching this part.
Convenience through racism?
Asa Butterfield / Ender looks like…
Malaysian censorship: No scenes were noticeably cut at the press screening. Well, of course, ’cause as I mentioned, it’s more like a kids movie and therefore probably shouldn’t even be classified as a ‘P13’. It does have a tiny bit of minor violence though.
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Movie stills / images: View ’em here.