Ender’s Game: Review

Image from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1731141/

I wasn’t really “feeling” Ender’s Game before going to see it. There was just something about the marketing that wasn’t inspiring confidence in me.

The story follows Ender, an intelligent young mind as he progresses through the ranks of Military academy, all the while being moulded by the people around him to lead the army against an alien race who seek to destroy mankind.
I liked a few things in Ender’s Game. The idea of exploring the millitarys influence and manipulation of young people told through science fiction really appeals to me and when the film focuses on this, it works quite well.
The cinematography and directing is to a surprisingly high standard too, making for a very long, more refined Daft Punk music video.
The score is great too, much better than I had anticipated and gives the film a bit more substance when it needs it.
That’s basically all I enjoyed. 
In fact despite all of the above, it’s probably when of the most dull, headache inducing films I’ve sat through, possibly ever.
The main issue I have is there’s just no real threat in the film and therefore no tension or excitement.
The majority of the “action” sequences are just training exercises which have little to none entertainment value with no real ramifications.
I’m no action junkie and I could have easily sat through a more intelligent sci-fi film with no action whatsoever but I need something, anything to keep me involved in the story to a degree. 
There’s one moment in the film which legitimately shocked me to the point where I thought the rest of the film would actually turn out okay. It didn’t.
To top it all off it has one of the most annoyingly, plot hole filled endings I have seen all year.
Asa Butterfield who I have really enjoyed seeing progress as an actor thus far, thankfully wasn’t as wooden as I was expecting but still provides one of his most ify performances yet. He ranges from good to just over the top, mainly in the scenes which he knew were destined for the trailer.
Harrison Ford is the best part of the film by a mile and that’s not me just saying it out of an undying love of Indiana Jones. He puts in a great performance, probably the best I’ve seen him in years.
And then you have Ben Kingsley, underused but as great as Kingsley always is in the small scenes he is given.

Ender’s Game overall has some good qualities. It looks good and has some good performances. This is nowhere near enough for me to recommend it though and I’d even say the younger audience this was aimed for will find it pretty dull. 

Based on a series of books and with a sequel set up ending, the film makers would no doubt love to expand this into a series. I just pray that never happens and certainly won’t be going out of my way to watch any future instalments.

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