(PCM) There are a lot of challenges included in adapting a book onto the silver screen, especially one of this caliber. Many consider the novel a serious philosophical and psychological character study, with deep moral and political undertones, heavily focusing on children. Not to mention takes place in an immersive, well imagined universe. From casting to set design, for many studios this project sounded like a production nightmare with too many risks involved. But director Gavin Hood (X:Men Origins: Wolverine) boldly took on the project, and I think its fair to say the final product is highly successful.
Although i wouldn’t go as far as to say Enders Game is an oscar quality movie, there is no denying that this film is a fun and enjoyable adaptation of Orson Scott Card‘s 1985 science-fiction novel of the same name. The story follows Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young mind, recruited and trained by an International Military who seek out a leader who can save the human race from an alien attack and lead his fellow soldiers into a battle that will determine the future of Earth.
As stated earlier, one of the largest challenges with adapting this story was the focus on children and dealing with a primarily younger cast. For many directors this has proven difficult, although there are exceptions. For the most part, I am happy to say Enders Game is one of them. Actually I think many people would agree that the casting is one of the reasons this movie is so enjoyable. Asa Butterfield (Hugo) gives a convincing and memorable performance as the lead role, Ender Wiggin, really pulling you in to the mentality of this slightly disturbed young man and how his environment has effected him.
The rest of the cast, primarily made up of child actors, is pretty well rounded and will surely be likable amongst the younger audience. Some of these characters are one-dimensional cliches, designed solely to keep the plot moving (i.e sprained ankle from bunk-bed fall), but never to point of distraction or bad taste. And then of course there is Harrison Ford, once again on a mission in space…
Ford is actually the glue that holds it all together in my opinion, delivering a great performance, and always left you wanting more. His performance in Enders Game as Colonel Graff, is a well balanced and intriguing character that steals the show in almost every scene. This confirms the theory that given the right role, Ford is still one of the most electrifying actors in the game.
In an adaptation of a book, you can’t expect to fit everything in and still hope to do the book justice, nor can you completely change everything and keep your core audience. Enders Game delivers on both fronts, portraying the themes and primary plots of the book while creating an enjoyable cinematic adaptation. All in all I would give Enders Game a 7/10, and would defiantly recommend it as a movie for the family, although it really is fun for all ages.