“Gavin Hood’s version of Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” didn’t do too well at the box office, which is a pity, because it’s pretty damn entertaining.”
Gavin Hood’s last film was the pretty mediocre “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” which is reason enough for some to dislike him passionately. Though not me. The thing is, technically that film was well-done (some of the FX was a bit dodgy, but that’s not something that I would lay–directly–at Hood’s feet) but the story departed so far from established canon (let’s see…Deadpool, known as ‘the merc with a mouth’ not only doesn’t talk, but has his mouth is literally sealed shut at one point) that there was bound to be a backlash.
Another thing that didn’t do the movie any favors was that, prior to coming out, people became fixated on Scott Card’s feelings about homosexuality (He’s not particularly fond of it).
Though I have a problem with a boycott of a film because of the feelings of the writer are theirs, and they can think what they want. If Orson Scott Card doesn’t like the idea of homosexuality, or homosexual relationships, so be it. He has the right to his own beliefs, just as people have the right to decide not to see movies based on his books.
But to organize a campaign against the man because of it, I am not so sure.
Anyway, the movie takes place in a future where the Earth has been devastated by aliens known as Formics. They’re routed at the last moment by Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), but now Earth, united against a common foe–funny how aliens do that–now seek to take the battle to the Formics’ home planet. It’s believed the best way to to this is to use children, because their minds are more flexible (?) and they are better at adapting to changing situations than adults.
The International Fleet, the combined efforts of the entire world’s militaries, have created an academy, known as Battle School, where they train children against further Formic aggressions. One of the children chosen to attend this Battle School is Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin (Asa Butterfield).
It’s worth mentioning that Butterfield is in virtually all the scenes of this movie, and carries the load admirably.
The movie for a bit turns into a variant of the Harry Potter films, with all the young charges from Battle School being divided into teams, Salamander, Dragons, etc., to determine the best fighters, which would then move to Command School.
From Command School, they then face the Formics themselves.
You’re along for the entire journey, and it’s a fascinating one. There’s also this awesome Flaming Lips song “Peace Sword (Open Your Heart)” over the end credits. I also noticed that Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman produced the film. This is surprising because, as I said, it was pretty entertaining.