Monday, March 28, 2016

Movie Monday: Ender's Game

Ender's Game
When opportunity arises, I feature Movie Monday. I recognize few people have the time or desire to read the amount I do, especially when it comes to the 100 Best Novels list. Luckily, Hollywood loves adapting a classic and I love a good story in any form.

Film Title: Ender's Game

Book Title: Ender's Game
Release Year: 2013

Summary: A young boy is put into a military training program for children with the hope he will one day lead humans to victory over an alien race.

What I Thought: Ender's Game has consistently been for me an example of how some literature appeals more to specific genders. While I have always recognized the craftsmanship and importance of the book, I have never been able to connect to it. Going into the movie, therefore, I was apprehensive about how it would resonate with me. Admittedly, my main motivators for watching were to write this review and to admire Harrison Ford. Both completely valid in my view.

The movie, however, surprised me. Thanks to both good acting, the prominent placement of a few female characters, and the elimination of a lot of the brute violence, I found myself appreciating the story more than I had in the past. I think, also, the more times you walk through this story, the more you recognize and learn from its subtle moral lessons. 

Predictably, the movie condenses much of the story. Ender's years of training are greatly reduced, making his emotional and psychological progression a little more difficult to buy. The ending still feels a bit odd to me, although now I'm recognizing that may be in part to my own cultural training. We are trained to anticipate a change of heart in regard to an enemy. Ender's reversal of this typical approach is what makes his move at the end so powerful, after all. 

Overall, I thought the movie was fine. It exceeded my expectations, though not by a vast amount. It was enjoyable, but not necessarily memorable. This could, of course, all go back to my original feelings on the story to begin with. What did you think?

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Watch: Probably not

A Reduced Review: A better-than-expected adaptation, but still nothing to write home about. 

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