There is a fact that should be reiterated every time I write a review of a movie based on a book. This review is solely based on the quality of the film itself; anything missing from the story or the views of the author will not be touched upon.
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman like taking a lot of risks when they produce movies. On the upside of this fact, they almost always turn out to be more than successful. Ender’s Game is the latest film the duo has produced and if this reaction is typical of all reactions, they won’t be having a hard time finding more work. With cutting edge CGI and incredible acting from the films up and coming cast, this sci-fi action flick is sure to garner much attention. Director Gavin Hood brilliantly creates this world and uses the talent at his disposal to everyone’s full potential.
Years after an attempted alien invasion, Earth has decided it’s line of defense will be the gifted youths of today. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is a brilliant tactician and is chosen to join a line of trainees in the International Fleet. Groomed for command by Colonel Hyrum Graff, Ender begins rigorous training while at the same time gaining the admiration and ire of fellow classmates. With psychological pressure from his friends, his officers and the mind game he plays in his off hours, he eventually understands what the ultimate sacrifice means for both him and humanity.
Set design and CGI compliment the tone of the film. From the militaristic design of the International Fleet Starships to the desert terrain of Eros; the design of the exteriors and interiors complimented the mystical fantasy of the film. The computer generated effects designed to show the battle progress and tactical displays were subtle and effective in the way they were designed. There wasn’t too much going on at once, so the viewer had no issue focusing on what was happening in any battle.
The cast in this film complement each other very well. We have the youthful and strong acting of Asa Butterfield in the title role and the seasoned Academy Award nominee Hailiee Steinfeld as Petra Arkanian, whose performances were perfectly believable as two strangers who gain respect on the field of battle. Rounding out the cast with their impressive veteran acting skills are Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis. Playing the top brass of the International Fleet, they add maturity and subtle humour to the film.
Steve Jablonsky does an excellent score with the rich battle sequences and compliments the film with soft music for the touching sequences between Ender and his family. The score makes a film and it’s always a happy feeling when the music and the film synch up so well. Dragons Win and Mind Game Part 2 are two of the tracks you’re going to want to keep your ears open for.
Easily one of the top five films of the year; Ender’s Game benefits from a talented ensemble class, an interesting story and pleasing visuals, making it easily one of the top five films of the year. It comes at a point where faiths in movies based on a story are at all –time lows and viewers need something to reaffirm their views of Hollywood. This could be the one that does it.
Final Score: 10/10