The 1985 sci-fi novel “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card won both the Hugo and Nebula awards in its day. A big-screen adaptation has been a long time coming — and it’s finally here.
“Ender’s Game” debuted last weekend in theaters and was the top-grossing film in America in that span. I also was intensely excited that Mr. Blade Runner aka Han Solo, aka Harrison Ford, was a part of this cast. I have to say, however, I was surprised to not have to fight the crowds for my ticket. In my mind, this film was the biggest sci-fi fest since “Phantom Menace” or “The Fellowship of the Ring.” Guess I was wrong. Geeks like me definitely were out to represent, but not in full force.
The story is set in the future following Earth’s brutal attack by an insectoid-alien race. Fifty years afterward, Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is a teen living on a militaristic/dystopian Earth where society has become obsessed with defeating the enemy once and for all. Ender has a remarkable gift for strategy. So, even though he is constantly a target for bullies, military recruiter Col. Graff (Ford) chooses to enroll Ender in Battle School, taking a chance that Ender can be molded into a commander and mankind’s salvation.
His was just one of a number of fantastic casting choices. Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley and Voila Davis were all pitch perfect in their roles. Child actor Aramis Knight is a revelation as Bean. We’ll be seeing this kid again. And of course Butterfield, with his intense blue eyes, was a perfect Ender Wiggin in my opinion. All of the younger stars amazed me.
Now, this showy film completely delighted me, but fans of the book are crying foul. They’re saying the big-screen adaptation cut out a lot of the emotion of the novel.
As for me? I’m still a fan!