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Movie of the Week: Ender's Game

Yes, I know some folks didn't see this movie because of Orson Scott Card's somewhar dubious politics, but I read the book before I knew anything about that and was curious - eager, even, to see the movie. It didn't disappoint.

Asa Butterfield, previously seen (by me at any rate) in Hugo, made an excellent Ender Wiggin. Fair enough the time span encompassed by the novel had to be compressed because 14 year old Butterfield essentially didn't age through the film, (though apparently he did grow two inches during shooting), but Ender learned his lessons, (life and tactical), essentially growing up through a series of lessons administered by Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford, who had a lot of screen time) and Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley). Briefly the Earth has had a very near miss, almost being wiped out by bug-like aliens (Buggers in the original books, but later changed to Formics.) and the current administration believes that the only way to defeat them if (and when) they return, is to raise a generation of children to be warriors and strategists. Is Ender the one they're looking for? Can they train him to be so ruthless that he'll put the fight before his humanity? Graff thinks he is. Ender is tested and pushed until he becomes what they need him to be and the film deals with the consequences.

If you've read the book you'll know where this leads. If not, no spoilers. Though it's thirty years since I tread the book it seemed to stick pretty closely to what I recall of it though the very end (I think) is taken from one of the later Ender books.

Well worth watching.

Comments

I adored the original short story, but I felt the novel was too dragged down in places by Card's philosophy. I'll see the movie if I can see it for free, but I'm not particularly drawn to it (nor do I want that man to get any money from me).
blue eyes

October 2014

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