Directed by Gavin Hood, Staring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Sir Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis. The story follows Ender who has been recruited by the army to lead an attack force against an alien invasion which nearly destroyed earth previously had it not been for one pilots selfless act.
This week I was given the rather unusual choice of reviewing two films, the first being The Counsellor, the second being Ender’s Game. At first I watched The Counsellor, the trailers looked interesting and baring Cameron Diaz I am a fan of every actor in the film. By the end of it however I wish I had never bothered, dull does not come close to describing various scenes, while others are weird without point and the rest overly violent. The film had no purpose or message and the ending left me feeling frustrated to say the least and not to even mention Cameron Diaz’s strange affliction she called an accent. Then came Ender’s game and my mood lifted.
Based on the famous series, ender’s game is the first adaptation from a long list of books. Firstly I will admit I have never read these books so I have no idea how faithful they are, what I can say is having watched this film I am now incredibly intrigued by them and their narrative to the extent that at some point I will sit down and read through the series.
The narrative is incredibly interesting and though many have seen this as another take on the Hunger Games, I feel this is far from the truth. Ender’s Game uses children who are the most intelligent, they are brought up learning tactics and strategies in the hope that they will be selected to join the program and lead the attack to save their planet.
However one issue that is related to the Hunger Games, is that of the promotion of the film. Like Hunger Games many felt too much was given away during the trailer, these messages of warning came from those stating that they had read the book. Having watched the trailer after the film, I have to agree that too much was revealed in the trailer and for no particular reason.
The acting in this film is outstanding, Haliee Steinfeld who you will remember from True Grit, is outstanding yet again. Her role in this does not have as much to offer as previous but is still interesting to watch. Asa Butterfield is unusually good, with a character who holds a lot of depth he manages to convey this in a realistic way and not once do you question his acting.
I will not talk about the plot itself as I feel that too much has already been given away in this respect, through the various trailers and posters. However I will say it’s nothing as I expected, more intelligent, depth and a strength to both the characters and CGI that make it it’s own film.
Though it is clear that there is a lot of background information that is left out of the film, I still enjoyed this film. Though it is unclear whether a sequel will be made as the ratio of how much this film cost to make, compared to how much it actually made is substantially different, I will still make an effort to read the series.
OVERALL **** Really excellent film, both entertaining and thought provoking ethically speaking.
Recommendation – Avoid the trailers like I did and become swallowed up by this story, like I did.