I never read critic reviews of movies anymore. Not since I mistakenly opened up the newspaper (or whatever, internet) and heartbreakingly read what a terrible movie Rush Hour 2 was. It was terrible! Apparently, it earned like maybe a D- from critics and with a heavy heart I forced myself to watch it anyway. It turns out, movie critics are pompous assholes and I loved that movie! Pacific Rim!
Also, apparently anybody can write a movie review now; you don’t even have to do a wikipedia search on the source material! Ender’s Game is my favorite book, did I mention that? I should have started with that.
So fast forward to when I accidentally read a few critic reviews on the Fandango app as I was excitedly purchasing my tickets for Ender’s Game. My rage overfloweth’d is the appropriate term. The reviews were terrible, they compared Ender’s Game to a failed attempt at re-creating Twilight (I just threw up a little), they spoke’th about what a dark and moody movie it was for a teen action flick, and they wailed on it for clearly attempting to cash in on a trilogy story arc.
Hold on. Let me steady my heart rate.
This review though, is about everything I loved about the movie adaptation of Ender’s Game. People that complain if the movie doesn’t exactly match the portrayal of the book bother me because they seem to have a poor grasp on reality. To squeeze a book like Ender’s Game into a 2 hour, interesting visual masterpiece is not an easy task (see: LOTR, Harry Potter, Watchmen…) To its credit, Ender’s Game does this tremendously well. Ender is not some super-human 18 year old who can easily destroy his opponents; he is a geeky, scared little kid who happens to be brilliant.
… ahem… spoilers below (maybe?)…
While the movie does compress years of psycho/social terror at Battle School into maybe 30 days, it just has to. For a 2 hour movie it definitely feels like we just flew through Ender’s story arc and we didn’t get much time to really reminisce at exactly how terribly twisted Ender was forced to become. But that’s ok with me. The fundamental story was all there, the mind games complete with communication from the Formics, the pivotal strategies Ender employed in Battle School to win, and the horrific realization at what he had done after the war, were detailed straight from the book and I loved it.
In conclusion, Ender’s Game was amazing, true to the book, visually stunning, heartbreaking, and maybe a little dark and moody as it should be. I loved it. Go see it!