By Ron Crouch, Guest Writer
It has been a few decades since a hostile alien race known as the Formics attacked Earth and were barely beaten back. Since then, the most militarily gifted children of earth have been taken to the Battle School, an orbiting space station designed to house and teach hundreds of children for the upcoming second battle. One of the children, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, has been deemed by the school’s headmaster as the perfect strategist and humanity’s only hope against the imminent alien threat. And so begins Ender’s exhausting education.
One theme that the movie focused on is sacrifice. As Ender is continually put under pressure to excel both in and out of “class,” he begins to see that if he does give everything, he will ultimately destroy himself. In the end, he has to decide whether or not he is willing to die to save the race. Another theme that the movie reflects is friendship and teamwork. Ender is continually made an outcast by the teachers of the battle school, forcing Ender to strive to make friends, which he does by standing up for others.
As far as violence goes, for the most part, it involves battles with lasers and laser spaceships and explosions. The part that does not use lasers: I would put it on par with the Hunger Games in that it involves children being merciless during and after fights. In the end, though, the violence is closer to Star Wars than anything. An aspect of the movie that I liked most was that the negative content is very minimal. A curse word is used once along with a few crude jokes… and that is it. There is not even mention of drugs or alcohol.
One of the largest conflicts within the story is what is right and wrong within war. The audience is faced with the question of the limits of morality in combat. Do you use children as soldiers when they are more effective than adults? Is it moral to entirely wipe out an enemy to keep them from attacking you again?
A few parts are slightly hard to grasp and too predictable, in my opinion. Ender’ Game also had to tackle a lot of zero gravity scenes (something that still has Hollywood stumped in my opinion). A few scenes did look awkward/cheesy/obviously-wired, but for the most part I think the movie does a good job showing difficult action scenes that in the past have been embarrassments to the movie industry.
The Ugly (for readers):
I will end with a special part for those who have read the book. Again, no movie can ever be perfect to the reader in my opinion. Additionally, with so many different views and challenges presented in the book, it would be virtually impossible to come up with a reader-perfect movie of Ender’s Game. Long story short: there had to be changes, and they did change some things, but it works out overall. One of the biggest things that changed was the timeline. Ender and the rest of the students cannot all be under the age of thirteen. Another revision is that the second invasion with Mazar Rackham’s victory (in space) never happens. One thing that was left out that really disappointed me was the vital parts of Valentine and Peter back on Earth, though that could mean a parallel movie could be developed in the future focusing on them.
Having read the book of the same title, I was fairly skeptical about this movie. I am glad to say that this movie is excellent, both for readers and non alike. As far as good movies go, being entertaining, cool, exciting, etc., I would say that Ender’s Game does an excellent job. So overall, the movie is definitely worth seeing.