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Ender’s Game

November 1, 2013

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Ender’s Game is on/in the science-fiction hall/wall of fame/honor/whatever. Orson Scott Card’s look at a future in which children are called upon to be the saviors of mankind, the grand strategists countering a deadly, hostile enemy (Buggers in the book, Formics in the movie), is venerated. Like many classic works of science-fiction literature, a translation to the big screen hasn’t been the easiest thing to achieve. How many of Arthur C. Clarke’s great works have been adapted, apart from the one he wrote specifically for the medium? Do we want to count the Will Smith-infused I, Robot as Isaac Asimov’s great contribution to the American cineplex? Maybe it’s the grand ideas they contain that keep the Ramas and Foundations of the world from entering the realm of popcorn and Junior Mints. Whatever the case, it’s a tough row to hoe.  

Movie science-fiction is more often than not low on the science, heavy on the ‘splosions. Ender’s Game isn’t so much science-fiction as much as it is a study of one boy’s brain, as he journey’s into becoming a humanity-saving killing machine. So that gives some hope that an adaptation here might work — with plenty of ‘splosions, of course.

Does it?

Gavin Hood’s new film succeeds on a number of levels. It crafts the visuals quite well, including the two takeaway elements from the book: the zero-g games and the high-pressure war-gaming that comes toward the end of the film, in which Ender functions as a space-military maestro. But there are a number of factors that keep the movie from rising above the usual box office fare. More on that on the next page, which I’ve sequestered due to the even more spoilery than usual nature of the subject matter. You’ve been warned.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 1, 2013 10:55 am

    Reblogged this on johnsonreginald3 and commented:
    Ender’s Game

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