The first big set of fall movies is out this weekend, and there is particular excitement about an adaptation many fans have been anticipating for years. It was a “decade-old deal” the rightsholders say the movie rights to Orson Scott Card’s science fiction novel “Ender’s Game”were signed away 10 years ago. Based on the award-winning novel beloved by fans, “Ender’s Game”was released by Summit Entertainment Nov. 1.
The film takes some liberties in translating from text to screen, but most are acceptable, and the story formulates independently so audience members won’t feel left out if they aren’t part of the book club. The visual effects are phenomenal and the acting is top-notch.
What the plot requires are little subtleties. Through the book, viewers follow title character Andrew “Ender”Wiggin, played by Asa Butterfield, from age six to 13, but a film can’t do this easily, so we start older, end younger, and the time in the middle is greatly condensed. A shift of power and emotion occurs within the characters. They start out against Ender, but over time and observation they all win friendship and gain respect for him.
The storyline is very much like “Starship Troopers,”with a hive-mind alien race attacking Earth, and our planetary unity with the International Fleet developing ways to retaliate against potential future attacks. Youths are monitored for strategic skill and sent off to Battle School, located on a space station in Earth’s orbit. While there, Ender is isolated, resented and rushed through the program. Eventually he makes it through the ranks and graduates to Command School, where he is to complete his training as Commander of the International Fleet.
The visual effects are phenomenal, from the Formic swarms in the space battles to the CGI detail of the world in the video game he plays in his free time. The music is also driving when it needs to be and mysterious at other times.
Overall, major fans of the novel should give “Ender’s Game”a try, even though it takes some liberties on its own. Consumer who like sci-fi movies with a little more moral depth than normally is portrayed in the genre will find “Ender’s Game”an excellent movie and a great way to kickoff the holiday season.