Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: Ender's Game

Yeah, yeah, I know; I'm like two weeks late.  But that's just a testament to how busy I've been.

Ender's Game has been my favorite book since I read it in high school. That being said, I don't think I've read it since high school.  So it's been a few years.  I kept telling myself I was going to re-read it before the movie came out, but that didn't happen.  Then I said I was going to read the graphic novel, and well, that didn't happen either.  So I went into the movie having not read the book in a number of years.  I remembered the big plot points, but the details?  Nope, not really.

But I really enjoyed it.  I think I was the only one out of the four of us who went who could say they really liked it.  The pacing was too quick and the acting left something to be desired.  (And no one says people's names that many times in a conversation; it felt like they just kept addressing the secondary characters so that we knew what they were called).  But overall I thought they did a good job.

Right from the beginning we see into Ender's head, how he has this violent side that he hates and feels remorse for afterwards, but knows in order to live up to his purpose in life (because he's a "third"), he has to use it.  The struggle between these two sides of him is apparent, and it makes us intrigued and root from him.

And really, that's what the book is about.  Ender says at the end, "it's not that you won, but how you won" or something along those lines.  So I feel like they really got the essence of the themes, this struggle between choices, and how you have to think for yourself, because someone telling you to do something might not actually be the right thing to do.

I think the fact that I hadn't read it in so long also worked to my advantage because I wasn't caught up in the details they'd changed.  I wish they had slowed down all the zero gravity combats because I think that shows us just how fatigued Ender was and that he was at his breaking point, which we don't really get. It also seems like all of a sudden he's a commander without having done much work; it's like they already know he's the prodigy where as in the book he has to work harder for it.  (Same thing with the mind video game; it's pacing is too fast).  But if they were to slow everything down the movie would've been 5 hours long, so I understand why they didn't do it.

I also have to say I was really impressed with Bonzo.  I'd seen that actor in a few Disney Channel sitcoms where he always plays the goofy side-kick telling the lame jokes.  So to see him in this type of role was a complete 180 and I thought he pulled it off really well.

So overall, I really liked it.  What did you think?  Have you seen it yet?

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