ENDER'S GAME (12)
D: Gavin Hood
Lions Gate/Summit (Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Gigi Pritzker, Linda McDonough, Robert Chartoff, Lynn Hendee, Orson Scott Card & Ed Ulbrich)
USA 🇺🇸 2013
W: Gavin Hood [based on the book by Orson Scott Card]
DP: Donald McAlpine
Ed: Zach Staenberg
Mus: Steve Jablonsky
PD: Sean Haworth & Ben Proctor
Cos: Christine Bieslin Clark
Asa Butterfield (Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin), Harrison Ford (Col. Hyrum Graff), Hailee Steinfeld (Petra Arkanian), Abigail Breslin (Valentine Wiggin), Ben Kingsley (Mazer Rackham), Viola Davis (Maj. Gwen Anderson)
Ender's Game is a pretty much a cross between Harry Potter & Starship Troopers. Set in a future of intergalactic war, where children are trained at military complexes where it is hoped the saviour of the human race will be discovered.
Under the dictatorial eye of Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) a new talent emerges in Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), who triumphs over bullying and is declared 'the one' from the authoritarian figure, who promotes him to further training where he has to overcome more bullying after being ostracised by his fellow cadets (on more than one occasion).
His final test comes in a simulated battle environment where he must obliterate the enemy out of existence and with this comes a rather obvious 'twist' which is altogether quite unconvincing in the grand scheme of science fiction fantasy. Anyone who's seen Star Trek would see it coming a mile off.
The general moral of triumph over adversity and standing up against bullies is the underlying subplot of the whole film, and it works quite well, but the film as a whole is targeted at a teenage boy demographic and probably won't appeal to anybody outside that circle. The acting from the young cast is decent and Ben Kingsley pops up with a cameo, Harrison Ford is miscast though and Alfre Woodard's character as a cadet psychiatrist is a little underused. It's good to see Hailee Steinfeld back following her promising debut in 2010's True Grit.