This morning I fully expected to be sitting here writing how my favorite book, ‘Ender’s Game’, had been let down by a poor movie adaptation. The movie I watched today was not a poor adaptation.
One of my biggest fears leading up to the release of ‘Ender’s Game’ was how Ender’s internal thoughts and feelings would be conveyed through a visual medium. Under the direction of Gavin Hood, young Asa Butterfield made me believe the complex and varied emotions Ender experiences throughout the movie. I’ll even admit that on two occasions during the film, one with the assistance of Abigail Breslin, Butterfield’s performance brought a tear to my eye.
‘Ender’s Game’ is well-paced, and while a few subplots are neglected, the alternative could well have sidetracked the movie from the main theme and story. Harrison Ford gives one of his best performances of the last decade as Colonel Graff, the man obsessed with victory regardless of cost or moral implications. Hailee Steinfield lives up to her excellent reputation as one of Ender’s close friends (not girlfriend) throughout his journey. A little more time could have been given to Mazer Rackham and his insightful portrayal by Sir Ben Kingsley.
Gavin Hood keeps ‘Ender’s Game’ true to the book. The audience experiences events as Ender does, and while the time period of events is contracted, this does not detract from the story or impact of this movie. Gavin’s love for Orson Scott Card’s source material is evident and I express my gratitude to him for fulfilling and even exceeding my best hopes for what could be done. Thank you, Gavin!
Children who enjoy video games will have a natural affinity with Ender and his games; this film could prove an excellent introduction to the book. More mature viewers will ponder over the moral implications of war and victory at all costs. I am very happy to recommend the ‘Ender’s Game’ film to all (young children at the discretion of their parents), especially fans of the novel. I hope such a good on screen adaptation will lead more people to read this great example of modern literature.
ENDER’S GAME 9/10