Ender's Game

Ender's Game is well-made. The acting, writing, and production value are all fine. It's mildly interesting, but it doesn't really pick up until the end, and I wound up wondering why I watched it.

I haven't read any of the Ender's Game series, but the movie kind of looked interesting, and Roeper gave it a B at least. The acting was fine, and Asa was likeable enough as Ender. I'm not sure I would've kept the last name "Butterfield" if I were Asa. I guess he likes it.

The movie more or less held my interest, and it moved along at a quick pace. Probably too quick of a pace; in the book I imagine they had more time to draw things out. The pace made things seem a little choppy in the movie. It was well-made; it looked good, and the writing/dialogue was good. It was still a little flat, though. People on IMDb described it as "too linear" and "rushed," and I guess I'd agree with that.

I liked the scenes with the kids in the practice battle arena. I did keep thinking the entire time, "there's got to be another option. It can't just be one race has to annihilate the other." But then I thought, "well, they can't communicate with the Formics, so what're they going to do?" It was kind of confusing, though, because they made it seem like the Formic ships were going to attack Earth in 28 days, but then later they made it seem like they weren't attacking at all, so I'm not sure what was going on with that. Maybe they were just building up their force so they could get the queen off the planet the humans were occupying.

It did suck that he killed them all and they were trying to talk. He definitely wouldn't have done that if he had known it wasn't a simulation. I can see where the leaders would feel justified using him to do it, though. I figured he was going to use the molecular thing on the planet. It just made sense to do, as soon as they explained what the weapon did. I didn't know it wasn't a simulation, though.

I think they must've cut a scene somewhere between when Ender resigns and when Valentine visits him wherever he is. Something that explains what they decided to do with him. Obviously they just let him hang out there, but it was weird without any explanation.

The trailer almost made it seem like Ender was bred with Formic DNA or something so he would be one of them and understand them and be able to take them down. I was disappointed that he was just a normal kid. I didn't fully buy into the story being all about kid soldiers, either. It kind of just seemed like a gimmick.

It was kind of obnoxious that Ender kept getting bullied. I guess it was a good vehicle to see how he would react and maneuver situations, but I didn't like it. It did create a good callback moment, though; when Ender told Graff at the end that it does matter how you win, it made me think of how he won the fight with Bonzo. He couldn't feel good about that win because of the way it happened, and then same thing goes for the fight with the Formics. Ender had a good point about there possibly being other planets and other queens, too.

I liked Ben Kingsley as Rackham. Mazer Rackham is a weird name, though. I liked his explanation of the tattoos on his face, as a way to speak for the dead. I think he was jealous of Ender, though. I liked the reveal that Rackham wasn't dead.

The ending was good. It works out fine that Ender's going to search for another hospitable planet and try to fix the genocide by making sure the race can go on. I think he would miss his family, but I guess it doesn't matter since he has a purpose.

As a whole though, it wasn't that great of a movie. It was sort of a "meh." I didn't enjoy the training stuff that much, and the ending was pretty heavy, but the rest of the movie didn't back that up. It wasn't entertaining enough to have watched it just for the sake of entertainment, so at the end I just felt like, "what was the point of that? Why did I just watch that?"

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