Writer: Lorraine Tan
Overall: 4.0 Out of 5
Cast: 4.0 Out of 5
Plot: 3.0 Out of 5
Effects: 4.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 4.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: “Hunger Games”, “After Earth” and “Elysium”.
2013 has been a good year for science fiction films. Hot on the heels after "After Earth", "Elysium" and "Gravity", comes "Ender's Game", directed by Gavin Hood.
"Ender's Game" is a science fiction adaptation of a novel by Orson Scott Card, which was published in 1985, almost 30 years ago. Kudos must be given to the director Gavin Hood, who also wrote the screenplay and successfully updated it to a believable, near future scenario.
"Ender's Game" follows the story of Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a child gifted in military games. He is handpicked to undergo further military training, in order to prepare him to be a future leader to defend against a possible alien invasion. He is seen as a tactical genius by Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford), who pushes his cause because he believes Ender to be the saviour of humanity.
The film, while at first seeming like a typical sci-fi romp, deals with heavy issues such the morality of war, child soldiers, and the sacrifice of a few for the greater good. A good sci-fi film is not only about science and special effects, but also about deeper issues that the future may hold. In this aspect, "Ender's Game" is a much better film than recently released films such as "Elysium".
However, the problem I have with the film is that the reviewer sometimes finds it hard to believe that a young teen is leading the world to war, and he understands and it is affected by the deeper issues related to it. An adult would have grounded the film even more, but it is, after all, an adaptation of a novel.
Asa Butterfield does a good job of playing Ender, portraying an old soul trapped in a young boy's body brilliantly. Harrison Ford supported him well, giving gravity to a role of a Colonel who is desperate to see the boy succeed, and one who understands that war is a sacrifice. One might lose some in order to win the whole war. The rest of the supporting actors do their job, but one feels that their roles are mostly fillers and they do not get much screen time to develop their character.
The special effects and cinematography, though, is top-notch, but the costumes used do look a little plastic-y and fake, and not up to the standard set by something like "Gravity".
The running time just shy of 2 hours, but the film feels like a 3 hour movie. Though, that is a good thing, and the pacing of the movie is well-developed. Everyone from sci-fi buffs to the regular movie-goer looking for a great show should watch the film. It is possibly even better than the upcoming "Hunger Games"!
Cinema Online, 31 October 2013