Movie Review: Ender’s Game

I caught the movie ‘Ender’s Game’ at GV Bishan yesterday. As it was an 11:35am screening, the theatre wasn’t even 10% filled – just the way I like it.😀

First up, the synopsis from GV’s website and movie trailer from YouTube:

“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, all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff and the International Military are training only the best young minds to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin, a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is recruited to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult challenges and simulations, 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.”

~ Stop Here If You Don’t Want To Read A Spoiler😛 ~

I found the movie enjoyable, even though the plot was largely predictable (for me despite not having read the book). It’s a simple tactic that Graff used to trick Ender – make him do the ‘same’ thing every single day, then ‘neglect’ to tell him that today’s not the same as any of the other days.

Battle simulation in Ender’s Game:

Ender's Game battle simulation [pic cred:]

Ender’s uncontainable joy when he accomplishes the mission in what he thinks is his graduation day “battle simulation” is quickly replaced by sorrow upon realizing that he DID exterminate the Formics (and their planet), and also sacrificed a thousand of his own men.

This makes me wonder WHAT IS THE POINT of having simulations if one responds DIFFERENTLY in a game vs. in a real-life situation. (@_@)

Other things the movie made me think about:

1) Even after your enemy is down, continue attacking him so he learns a lesson – to never ever try to mess with you again. Also, his sidekicks and accomplices will also get the message that they are supposed to keep their distance from you.

That’s an interesting thought. But I don’t think kids in school should follow Ender’s example or there will be many schoolchildren lying in hospitals with multiple injuries.

2) When you understand your enemy totally, you begin to love him because you realize how he loves himself.

This is almost mind-boggling for me. But I suppose it does make sense. When you realize the intention behind someone’s actions, you begin to understand and even empathize with him. I can’t think of an appropriate example to illustrate this point, but maybe you can.😛

3) It’s not about who has won more battles, or whose team has the more experienced fighters, but who is going to win the next one with innovative strategies.

Don’t look down on the new kid on the block!

Ender's Game battle[pic cred:]

I’d give this movie a 6.5/10. A friend described it as “in-between Star Trek and Hunger Games”. True? You have only one way to find out – go watch it yourself🙂