From the beginning, Ender’s Game, the film, had its critics. Based on one of the most popular science fiction books of all time, the film faced criticism very early on from die hard Ender’s Game fans, many of whom feared that the movie would veer away from the core narrative of the book in favor of dazzling special effects and action packed battle scenes. Additionally, some members of the queer community campaigned to boycott the movie on the grounds that Orson Scott Card, the writer of the novel Ender’s Game, is an ardent homophobe who has consistently resisted the expansion of LGBT rights. These individuals went on to create a website, http://skipendersgame.com, in order to spread awareness about Card’s alleged “anti gay extremism” and call for a boycott on the movie. Needless to say, the producers of Ender’s Game had their hand’s full from the start.
But what of the movie itself? Certainly, the producers crafted a CGI masterpiece. From the digital representations of the Formics, the hostile alien race which serve as the villains of the plot, to the absolutely stunning depictions of space combat, Ender’s Game does not disappoint in the realm of special effects. Additionally, many of the actors delivered spectacular performances. Viola Davis is brave and committed in her portrayal of Major Gwen Anderson. Asa Butterfield pulled off an incredibly difficult role as Ender, masterfully demonstrating his understanding of a character who is both a warrior and a peacemaker.
Of course, the film will always fall short of its expectations. Harrison Ford is relatively weak in his role as Colonel Hyrum Gruff, one of the most important characters in the plot. In addition, the film lacks many essential plot details which made the novel so compelling. However, Ender’s Game fans will be pleased that the director kept most of the important plot elements, and that the overall tone of the novel is well conveyed. Be you a long time fan or a newcomer to the story, Ender’s Game is worth a watch, if only to find out what all the controversy is about.
By Grant Genske