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All audience reviews of Ender's Game

  • The ‘Game’ borders on cerebral and visceral

    Raja Satish (50 DM Points)

    Desimartini | Updated - November 01, 2013 13:04 PM IST
    3.1DM (670 ratings)

    Verdict - Not so enthralling but has its moments in spurts.

    Ender's GameWatch trailerRelease date : November 01, 2013

    The very existence of an enemy is a threat. Thou shall not wait for the enemy's attack. Thou shall plan an attack before it even thinks to do so.

    Ender's Game is based on the above premise. The movie is a screen adaptation of the novel of the same name written by Orson Scott Card. After an attack by an alien race called Formics; the International military plans for a defense by picking new cadets and training them. The new recruit shall take the place of legendary war hero Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley). For this uphill task they choose Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield - the lovable kid from Martin Scorcese's Hugo) - an introvert yet intelligent boy. With his sheer wit, he makes his way out of seemingly difficult situations. Ender is on board the Battle school ship located somewhere in Earth's orbit. There he meets his fellow cadets and is put on a rigorous training on war games and simulations by Colonel Graff (Harisson Ford).

    The practice before the final showdown is in the form of simulations and the team's ability to make multiple formations to cross the obstacles and reach the other side. Some games also test the psyche and mental balance of Wiggin. One such is to know the way he deals with his frustration!

    Director Gavin Hood (whose better known films are Tsotsi and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) tries it hard to make this a tale of emotions, as you can see the overtones of other successful films in the sci-fi genre. At the same time, he packs the film with many visceral elements to please children and some sections of people.

    The film is visually engrossing and the characters come with proper emotional layering, but what should be our stand when 'morality' comes into question. Can teens take all this and juggle with their emotions and assigned tasks. Can they be transformed into killing machines with compassion? Major Anderson (Viola Davis) also argues about it, but she's over-powered by Graff. At this juncture, the audience may take the film into a 'querulous' mode.

    Ender's Game is all about the acting finesse of Butterfield. The way he evolves from a shy kid to a soldier who helms the entire operation against the alien attack is laudable. He is funny at times and also effortlessly makes the tears roll down his cheek. Ben Kingsley, as a trainer, enters the film in its last lap and lends pace to the proceedings. Ford and Davis slip into suits and just fill their roles.

    The sweeping CGI does the trick but fails to ramp up the film-maker's dream to make a ground-breaking sci-fi ensemble. During most of the conversations, the audience lost their interest. Steve Jablonsky's soundtrack is good but doesn't amplify the magnitude of the film.

    Gavin Hood tries to propel the film into new orbits with his imagination and execution but just manages to cross the stratosphere and hovers somewhere above that. Ender's Game is not so enthralling but has its moments in spurts, especially the 'powerplay'-esque finale. This 'Game' is far away from a decent entertainer.

    My Rating: Expectation - 7/10; Reality - 5/10

    • Storyline
    • Direction
    • Acting
    • Cinematography
    • Music

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