Movie review: Ender’s Game (2013)


I guess Ender’s Game would be one of the last 2013’s films that I would watch. Nothing else from 2013 that has anymore of my attention, and focus should be back on this year’s movies. Hence, this movie review may be the last to end my thoughts on films released last year. Based on a novel of the same name, Ender’s Game is a science fiction action thriller film that stars Asa Butterfield as Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin, an unusually gifted child who is sent to an advanced military academy in outer space to prepare for a future alien invasion.

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The story is strong and is cleverly developed with a solid and engaging plot. Before I started watching this, I had a worry that there may be quite a lot of boring and draggy scenes that could get me asleep in the middle. In the end, I was relieved. This movie had my eyes on it from the beginning till the end. I even wish for this to be a bit longer. I was quite concerned to follow on the story development and to see how Wiggin experiences and excels one step further at a time in the battle station at the outer space in preparation for the Formics invasion.

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Asa Butterfield is the main lead of the show. I previously seen him as lead in the ‘Hugo’ film and I was quite impressed. Same goes to his amazing performance here. If he fails, the whole movie will fails since most of the screen-time is on him. He is very young, but is already capable of carrying such heavy role as seen here very well. Superb work from him, and also from Harrison Ford as the colonel in the movie. On the other hand, I don’t like Ben Kingsley, and his role here is somehow made slightly pointless.

The visual effects are great. This is important to present to the audiences sci-fi thrills and this movie did it. But I was actually hoping for more detailed views of how the Formics (the alien species) live and how their colony and their planet works. On the other hand, I find that the superb advanced technology used by the battle station is confusing and illogical particularly the transparent (or perhaps totally invisible?) screen the people used to control. And in the ending, they managed to easily destroy a whole planet by just a beam of shot. Climax there ends terribly. Slight disappointment there.

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Generally, the movie is quite engaging and worth watching, thanks to the solid plot and also engaging performance by Asa Butterfield. He is surely a young talent to watch out for. He in this movie is like the opposite of Jaden Smith in ‘After Earth’, whom is critically panned particularly on his performance. I’m happy that Asa did things right here in ‘Ender’s Game’ and obviously brought up the movie to a thumbs up from me. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Ender’s Game’ a total of 7.2.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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