"In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him."
I honestly don't understand some of the love this film is receiving considering how bored I was through the entire running time. The philosophy in this film didn't make much sense for me either and nothing in this sci-fi world felt believable. It was like having to sit through watching my little brother play one of his video games. Gavin Hood has received a lot of hate for his 2009 Wolverine film, but I was a huge fan of his South African film Tsotsi so I did have some hope for this. I guess he should stick to smaller productions because big scale films don't seem to work for him. The screenplay is based on Orson Scott Card's famous book of the same name which I never had heard of so I can't rate this based on its faithfulness to it. What I can say is that there isn't really anything thought provoking about it, which is some of the praise the book received. Here the themes are lost under all the CGI and extended action scenes. There are a lot of child actors in this film, which also hurt it a bit despite how much I like Abigail Breslin, Asa Butterfield, and Hailee Steinfeld. I didn't find anything spectacular form Harrison Ford's performance either, although I understand all the excitement from fanboys getting to see him back in space again. I just found this film hard to endure at times and found it a bit too grim and serious considering the subject matter.
Seventy years after an alien race known as the Formics attacked Earth and almost wiped out its existence if it weren't for Commander Mazer Rackham's (Ben Kingsley) heroics, Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) has been preparing a troop for the next attack. He has decided to attack the Formics at their home ground before they come back and destroy them, and in order to do so he has been training young children in hopes of discovering the next Mazer. He believes the one is Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a very quiet and shy boy who has unique strategizing skills. Graff brings him to space to begin his training at a battle school along with other elite kids like Petra (Hailee Steinfeld), Bean (Aramis Knight), Alai (Suraj Partha), and Bonzo (Moises Arias). Ender quickly shows his potential as he masters the training games by understanding the enemy. Despite Graff's assurance that Ender is the chosen one, Ender still fears he might fail because he hasn't quite understood the real enemy's motivation. Will he be able to save the human race? Are the Formics still a threat to humanity? These are questions racing through Ender's head as he begins to dislike who he's shaping up to be.
I found Ender's Game to be one of the worst sci-fi pics of the year along with After Earth. There was nothing really thought provoking about it for me and it completely failed to engage me. This seems to be only the first chapter to a franchise I'm not really looking forward to enduring. I don't even feel inspired to write a proper review for this film and I don't really have much to say about it. There is no charm or appeal found here, and I never bought into the drama. The story could've at least used some dramatic tension to draw me in, but I never felt anything worth engaging in here.