Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ender's Game

Movie Name: Ender's Game
Year of Release: 2013
Director: Gavin Hood
Stars: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley, Aramis Knight, Suraj Partha, Moises Arias, Nonso Anozie, Khylin Rambo, Conor Carroll
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

Following the abysmal reviews that greeted Gavin Hood's previous directorial effort, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine", the director went to television, and finally has returned to the big screen with an adaptation of the novel "Ender's Game".
The film follows the story of Ender, the main hero, a teenage boy who is being trained to be a commander of Earth's forces in the battle against alien invasions. Earth has been invaded previously, and fearing another attack from alien creatures, young boys and girls are being trained from a young age to develop skills on how to battle these creatures. Ender is a young boy who is possessed of amazing skills and intelligence, and that propels him to the top of his classes (also making him a target for bullies). He catches the eye of Colonel Graff, who sees in him the salvation of the Planet and who decides to groom him in that direction.
"Ender's Game" is a step forward for Gavin Hood - though far from a perfect feature, it's a well executed and visually stupendous film. The film, as has been the case with the director's previous directorial outings, falters in the dramatic tissue that brings the feature to life. There is a certain stiffness in the way the characters are brought to life and how their interaction exists (within the cliches that are created). In the end, the film functions as a showcase for fantastic visual effects - watching those young boys and girls playing with lives (digital ones) as if they are playing with video games, is one of the philosophical question that it poses (without many answers in the aftermath). The film allows for some good work from actors such as Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley and Asa Butterfield, who all manage not to be bypassed by the overwhelming panoply of visual effects. The cinematography from Donald McAlpine and the music from Steve Jablonsky are equally memorable. A film worth watching.