There are a lot of genre book series being transformed into feature films these days, but sadly more often than not they miss the mark for one reason or another. The latest Ender’s Game sported some interesting trailers and a great cast including Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley, and Abigail Breslin, but does it deliver anything worth checking out or just a wasted cast and pretty effects?
Ender’s Game follows a near future where a hostile alien race has attacked the Earth. Now in preparation for the next attack brilliant young mind is recruited to join the International Military in hopes to find a future leader who can save the human race. While not sure how close to the book it is, the film ended up being pretty entertaining. The story itself was just complex enough to make for an interesting concept, but doesn’t bring too many unnecessary elements. This makes for a streamlined film, but does lose a little from time to time in character growth and development. The performances are pretty good across the board with Asa Butterfield doing a great job leading the army as well as the movie. This is a role that would normally be something an adult would play, but with this story it is imperative that the child actors are able to make you believe in them and they all do great. While he didn’t do anything all that special there was something about Ford here that just worked. He showcased that hardened military leader with the rough edges and personality that we haven’t seen him do in some time. Viola Davis does a good job as usual as does Ben Kingsley, but he is sadly underused. The real standout aspect of this film is the visuals which are amazing. This film would not have worked if the space action and settings didn’t work and they knocked it out of the park.
The effects are beautiful, vibrant and believable making for a memorable experience in the theater. This is one that really should be seen in the theater just for the visuals alone. There are a couple of moments involving a video game sequence that just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the movie, but is a vital part to bring the story together. If you are a fan of the books or just the actors involved this is one that any science fiction fan should check out. It’s not a perfect film, but the story packs just enough punch, twists, and intrigue to make it more than the trailers let on. Hopefully they will get another chance to continue the story of Ender to see where it is all going, but thankfully it still works well enough as a single film with some left to the imagination or you can always just read the books for the rest of the story.
In addition to this sci-fi feature experience, this Blu-ray also includes a variety of special features including commentary, deleted and extended scenes as well as numerous featurettes. Grab your copy when Ender’s Game hits Blu-ray and DVD on February 11th.