Title: Ender’s Game Director: Gavin Hood Year: 2013 Run time: 1hrs 54m
“In the near future, a hostile alien race called the Formics have attacked earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham, all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff and the International Military are training only the best young minds to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin, a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is recruited to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult challenges and simulations, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer himself to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.”
1:42 - Well that’s exactly what they did in Independence Day. 6:29 - Big Brother is watching you, jeez. 14:33 - Being singled out as a genius by the boss on the first day is not a way to get your colleagues to like you. 15:52 - “He has a complicated response to authority.” 19:33 - It’s like a space-age Crystal Maze. 25:23 - Launchees is a bit of a silly name. 29:04 - It’s not rocket science… oh no wait, it is. Basic rocket science. 31:05 - Sony Playstation team must be working on cerebral control. 33:46 - If he’s following green lights, hopefully that means he won’t have to wear the hideous yellow jumpsuit anymore. 43:53 - Zero gravity laser tag looks like a lot of fun. 54:01 - You’d be alright with a twisted ankle in zero gravity though, wouldn’t you? No pressure on it. 56:53 - These formations are like the Red Arrows but with people. 1:00:18 - Not sure why Harrison Ford has that other woman around when all he does is tell her to shut up all the time. 1:09:27 - Set design has suddenly gone very Alien. 1:14:55 - “To the world, I’m did.” Great accent. 1:33:36 - Epic terraforming. 1:37:58 - “No. The way we win matters.”
This has a very interesting concept, and the twist is great. But everything in between those things isn’t really as good as you’d hope. Asa Butterfield holds his own as the kid with the weight of the world literally on his shoulder, but I wasn’t all that impressed with the grumpy Harrison Ford.
The training was interesting, just from a point of view of technology enhancements and what simulations they get to go through. Some of the bullying is uncomfortable to watch for me, maybe it highlights the problem in a good way for others, but I could have done without it to the extent it went to.
As mentioned, the twist is good. But then it felt like they didn’t really have a way to end it succinctly. In the same way as Transcendence had a great premise and was interesting to watch up until the point the original idea was expired, then the rest was lacking.