Ender’s Game

Space Kids


31 October 2013| No Comments on Ender’s Game     by Sean Chavel


Young adult science fiction that asks you to use your conscience. Ender’s Game is a war-games movie that enlists the young of the future to conquer aliens on a distant planet after an attack on our Earth. This movie grazes great potential, dumbs down ever so slightly on occasion, but lingers on with pensive suspense in how these rounded up children as space jockeys will be utilized. Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”) is the preteen who is hand-picked by military brass as “The One” candidate who will defeat the alien “Formics” in interplanetary war. Harrison Ford (“Air Force One” jingoism) is intimidating if not particularly memorable as Colonel Graff, who escorts the boy to Battle School on a space station around Earth’s orbit. Viola Davis is the Major and apparent psych evaluator, Ben Kingsley as a military hero, and Hailee Steinfeld is another cadet and faithful friend.

The art direction is fabulously high-tech in outer space. The kids are in no mortal threat up there, it seems, but are encouraged to behave aggressively in training school. Several great scenes in the movie involve training and video game mastery that tests war application thinking. Particularly exciting are the laser tag war simulations in zero gravity, notably, you can perceive Ender’s brilliance in strategizing. The action is equally coherent, something you didn’t get out of Harry Potter’s Quidditch matches. There’s always a rotten kid with a superior ranking in cadet school, and here it’s Moises Arias (as Bonzo, he’s a little too sociopathic to have convincingly been promoted by adult commanders). We root for Ender to beat him bad.

Enders Game_Superior Sci-FiWhy are kids selected? Kids have a sharper and quicker reaction time when it comes to video game style of warfare, obvious right? The kids are denied certain rights such as no contact with family back on Earth, for which Ender is the only one to challenge authority to regain those rights. Erstwhile, Ender loves the power earned while climbing the ranks, his war game reflexes are that sharp. While the military believes they are creating a perfect young war commander with no feelings, Ender is nonetheless embedded with naïve human compassion which clashes with the military’s needs.

This is a visually captivating spectacle that does make you feel like you’re beyond Earth for a couple hours. It also has you thinking about the moral implications of using youth to defeat a foreign enemy. I was riled up by this movie. Based on the Orson Scott Card novel and directed by Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”).

114 Minutes. Rated PG-13.


Film Cousins: “The Last Starfighter” (1984); “Starship Troopers” (1997); “The Matrix” (1999); “Pacific Rim” (2013).

Enders Game_FlickMinute Post_Grade_B-plus

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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