Starring: Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Nonso Anozie, Stevie Ray Dillmore, Andrea Powell, Moises Arias, Conor Carroll, Aramis Knight, Brendan Meyer, Jimmy "Jax" Pinchak, Suraj Parthasarathy, Khylin Rhambo
Directed by: Gavin Hood
Run Time: 114 mins
Genre:Action/ Sci-Fi/ Adventure
Opens November 1st
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Another film opening this week is also based on a book written back in the 1980’s that stems from a short story written by Orson Scott Card. Movies that are based on books usually are not as great as the book, but now with the technological advances in special effects, how does the story fare?
Earth has changed a lot in the future. Aliens invaded and now fast forwarding 70 years later, all the children are prescreened into military training at a very early age. What were you doing when you were thirteen? Ender Wiggins (Asa Butterfield) is a unique boy; he shows all the signs of being the one that can save Earth from the next alien invasion. How did anyone figure this out? Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) was the first to spot him and has been keeping tabs on him ever since.
Ender climbs the ranks quickly, partly from his off- the charts strategic intelligence, stealth physical capabilities and compassion for his enemy. Major Gwen Anderson (Viola Davis) has been keeping tabs on Ender’s temperament and state of mind using a game on his tablet that is controlled by cognitive functions. Even though Ender is a brilliant strategist, Col. Graff constantly looks past the fact that Ender is still a child, easily influence by approval of his superiors.
When Ender’s promotion is on the line before the next alien invasion is set to attack, he starts to fall apart. Will Ender be able to pull himself together to get his promotion or will the whole program be too much for one boy to handle?
Embedded within this special effects driven visual feast is a contemplative message about warfare, technology and the effect of both on our children. The film is a type of “top Gun” meets “Space Camp” for kids but with way better visual effects. The story in entertaining, much of it feeling like the viewer is in a videogame, but the last third of the film has a deeper message that is conveyed. The cast assembled is fantastic as the younger actors can hold their own against veteran actors such as Ford, Kingsley and Davis. If you’re a fan of the book, just go along for the ride of the film as it’s a visual experience like no other. Check out “Ender’s Game” when it opens in theaters starting Friday November 1, 2013.