Review Roundup: Harrison Ford's ENDER'S GAME - Box Office Boom or Bust?
In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite.
Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military's next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he's trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race. Based on the best-selling, award winning novel, Ender's Game is an epic adventure which stars Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, with Abigail Breslin and Harrison Ford. -- (C) Summit
Let's see what the critics have to say...
Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal: "The cream of the movie's crop, Ender Wiggin, is played by Asa Butterfield, who was the blank-faced boy of the title in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo." His face isn't as inexpressive as it was, but his character is insufferably manipulative and generally dislikable, and that's only the beginning of the movie's woes."
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: "Hood's adaptation streamlines the novel and its concerns, only occasionally lapsing into trailer-speak, as when Ford's commander speaks to his recruits in the language of movie-trailer-ese ("and in the middle of the battle, a legendary hero emerged"). At heart, Ender's Game relays a simple story of a little guy caught in a web not of his own making, learning to stand up for his beliefs. The target audience could do worse."
Peter Debruge, Variety: "Despite the obvious "be all you can be" subtext, Ender's Game manages to make these training sequences compelling without veering into pro-military propaganda, doing so by focusing on the interpersonal dynamics between the various squad members. Though Card may have publicly revealed his own prejudices, the casting department has assembled a wonderfully diverse group of actors - male and female, they come in all colors, shapes and sizes - to serve alongside Ender, including not only Latino best friend Bean (Aramis Knight) but also a fresh set of rivals and bullies, led by the odd-looking Bonzo ("Hannah Montana's" Moises Arias). Generally speaking, these aren't your typical Teen Nick selects; instead, the pic counts two teen Oscar nominees (Hailee Steinfeld as squad-mate Petra and Abigail Breslin as his sister Valentine) among its solid young ensemble."