By Jesus Figueroa
“Ender’s Game” mixes a thrilling action story with an array of philosophical problems to bring tactics and morals head-to-head in this coming-of-age survival story.
The film in its entirety is well presented giving an action film depth with philosophical dilemmas which contrast with the action well.
Colonel Graff, played by Harrison Ford, sets his eyes on tactical genius Ender Wiggin, played by Asa Butterfield, who shows an aggressive relentless nature.
Ford seems to play the role well as he becomes the voice of reason who gains the trust of the audience quickly. The complexity of his character gives way to a wonderful performance which is compelling.
Butterfield performs well, but lacks in emotional range. Ender seems robotic and the emotions of his character lack in complexity. The lack of emotion keeps the audiences from fully grasping the severity of the film’s plot.
Ender is tested every step of the way as he shows a natural talent in strategy.
The driving force behind Ender’s strive to be the best comes from hero Mazer Rackham, played by Ben Kingsley, who saved the world.
Quickly, Ender moves forward from recruit to boot camp and beyond. His aggressive nature is seen from early on as he confronts a bully and deals with him in a manner to prevent future bullying.
As training goes from simulation to hands-on Ender takes full advantage of his skills to shine above other students.
Ender encounters Petra Arkanian, played by Hailee Steinfeld, who is part if the elite group and helps Ender with his training leading to becoming one of Ender’s few trusted allies.
Steinfeld has a charismatic way of portraying his character allowing the audience to root for her.
Quickly, Ender encounters elite rival Bonzo Madrid, played by Moises Arias, who through being a pompous, stuck-up, team captain inspires Ender to excel.
Arias comes out strong being a force to be reckoned with. His portrayal of Bonzo gives a prominent character who gives Butterfield a competitive standard to surpass.
The living legend himself Mazer steps in to train Ender up to his test. With the film intensifying to a thrilling ending that changes the way some of the main characters are perceived.
The film is is well adapted from the book by the same name and highly captivating.
The film starts off slow and gets deep into the philosophy of “Ender’s Game” reality. One if the most powerful aspects, Ender being unsure of his leadership potential, gets downplayed to an almost inexistent storyline.
Ford and Kingsley both take their characters and give them a spectacular personality, as both protagonists and antagonists, which does allow the audience to connect with their characters.