Enough people watched Ender's Game in its opening weekend to ensure the film held down a spot at the top of the box office. After watching it this last weekend I ask this question: if the public had all known how profoundly disappointing an experience they were in for, would they have gone to watch it?
Could anyone have anticipated just how much boring dialogue the audience would be forced to listen to from Hollywood big shots Harrison Ford and Viola Davis? Ben Kingsley does a lot of talking too, but he, at least, gets to cover his face in Maori tattoos and amusingly butcher the Australian accent.
The movie takes us into an outer space training academy toward the end of the 21st century. Based on the best-selling novel by Orson Scott Card, this movie is all about training a boy to lead Earth’s army composed of children into battle in a near future space age war. Why children? I still have no idea.
Harrison Ford plays Colonel Graff and Viola Davis is Major Anderson. They've got their eyes on a boy named Ender (Asa Butterfield) a cadet whose tactical shrewdness could possibly save all of mankind from an anticipated alien assault. Ender is a wiry British teenager with dark eyes and a very faint American accent. His soft manner of speech is meant to be charismatic; however for me it was just another point of irritation.
As the movie progresses we see Ender tested and groomed to be an empathetic killer. He excels in all their increasingly difficult war games and ascends the ranks of child “warriors” and is then chosen to be the next great “saviour” for humanity by Colonel Graff.
The audience never finds out what the aliens want – there is a very poorly formed plot regarding water supplies. The child soldiers are never allowed to question their mission and we get bored to death by long and laborious scenes of dreary dialogue and repetitive space “combat training” sequences.
Nothing about Ender’s Game feels original. The director poses some very real moral questions but where he fails is in the storyline as it battles to support the implied theories. At best, wait for this movie to be available on TV. For me this was a highly forgettable film.
5/10- at a push!