DIRECTOR: Gavin Hood
May Contain Spoilers!
Gavin Hood! Not satisfied with ruining Wolverine’s first solo outing (X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), He’s back again, this time with something which was miss-marketed as Harry Potter in space. Well, luckily, the miss marketing issue was resolved early on and this is not Harry Potter. This is not a kids film at all, it is a family film leaning more towards an adult audience in may ways.
Ender’s Game is dark, following Ender Wiggin as he, along with a large group of children, are being groomed as the leaders of an Earth Armada, whose mission is to defend humanity against and encroaching, hostile alien race. The idea is that children are more focused on winning and encourage their competitive nature to the extreme.
Based on the 1985 novel, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, the concept is intriguing but Hood’s execution is plodding. The film has its moments, manages to draw us in a we do feel for their successes and the final twist was chilling, though not entirely unpredictable. But the final ending was just ridiculous.
Without giving too much away, the very idea that the person responsible for genocide on a planetary scale would be trusted by who is left of this alien race to preserve what is left, is just too much for me to stomach. Was this in the book? If so, I hope that there was more of an explanation and time given to it. Here were are simply expected to believe that Ender, the reluctant hero, is given free rein of the Universe to rebuild the alien race, a race who the Earth’s military believe to be a mortal threat to humanity? Or that they simply haven’t noticed what he is doing, even though he was appalled by what he had to do? A redemption arch too far? Too quick?
I just didn’t buy it and overall, though it had its moments, I just found this to be an average science fiction film, offering little, yet demanding that its audience take some pretty big leaps, one which I could not take. Though on a plus note, it is always a pleasure see Harrison Ford in a meaty role and he was good…