Interest Level: Young Adult
Main Performers: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld
Director: Gavin Hood
Run Time: 114 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Years ago, Earth was invaded by the Formics, an alien race that had overpopulated their own world and was looking to colonize a new planet. Now the International Fleet, headed by Colonel Graff, is looking for young, brilliant minds to aid in the fight against the Formics. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is one of these young, brilliant minds. Colonel Graff chooses Ender to train in Battle School where Ender shows his strength and brilliance, and quickly moves up the ranks. Ender and his crew of misfits fight and triumph battle after battle in a simulator. To become the next commander of the entire International Fleet, Ender has one last battle to win against the Formics in the simulation. He and his team win a stunning victory by wiping out the entire Formic fleet and their home planet. However, after the game ends Colonel Graff informs Ender that none of the battles have been simulations; in fact, everything has been real and Ender has annihilated the entire Formic species. Horrified, Ender runs away into the wasteland of the former Formic colony and finds the last dying Formic queen who had been trying to communicate with Ender. The queen entrusts an egg, a future queen, to Ender and he promises to find a new home for the Formics.
Gavin Hood, writer and director of the film, has done a phenomenal job of bringing this novel—which has continued to delight fans—to life. Hood did a great job of selecting key scenes to keep in the film to make the story work. Asa Butterfield portrayed Ender well, if a little too stoically. Harrison Ford, as Colonel Graff, was excellent: firm and implacable and cold. The digital representation of the game that Ender plays, the simulations, and the Formic queen were spot on; the game creepy, the simulations exciting and high-tech, and the queen scary and foreign, yet benevolent and haunting. Moreover, the music of the film was excellent. Overall, this was a good adaptation of Card’s enduring classic.
*Contains mild violence and themes of war.