Readers can’t gravitate towards Ender’s Game

Lights, lasers, and zero gravity. Orson Scott Card’s science fiction novel Ender’s Game was finally brought to the big screens in a huge cinematic production drawing in many sci-fi lovers and book-to-movie enthusiasts.

Grow up with Ender (Andrew) Wiggin as he is recruited at age 5 by the International Military to defend earth and defeat an alien race which nearly annihilated the human race in a previous invasion. The school recruits the world’s smartest kids, monitoring their actions from a young age to scan for the right characteristics of the next greatest military general.

In their society, families are only allowed to have a maximum of two children, but Ender is a third. His birth was allowed because the government believed he would be the savior of the human race. Being a genius child and a third, Ender was always subjugated to bullying by his peers. His troubles continue as he chooses to leave his family for Command School where he will become a military general and aid in protecting Earth.

During the movie, Ender is constantly bullied. He is bullied at school, at home, and in Command School. This becomes repetitive and antagonists are eventually turned into allies. Watching the movie, I was thrilled to see what I had read translate into awesome cinematography. There were parts in the book I was afraid the makers of the movie would butcher, but the scenes were interpreted and displayed wonderfully.

My concern is if you have no background information on the movie whatsoever. Personally, I would have no idea what is really going on. The character tension and interactions are much deeper and severely more personal in the novel than displayed on screen. The time for viewers to really bond with the characters is shallow and brief versus the gripping moments you flip through in the novel. For those who have read the book, sit back and enjoy the beautiful effects and visual aids. For someone who has never read the book, and never intends to, the movie isn’t worth watching unless you’re easily awed by lasers and preteens running around in alien fighting simulators.

Evan Kwong

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