It's like "Full Metal Jacket" in space...and with kids.

This movie comes across to me as a science-fiction movie that rather focuses on the characters than any actual spectacle and action. And there of course is nothing wrong with such an approach, as long as it's working out effectively and turns the movie into an interesting and credible one. Two things however that I felt this movie was lacking in.

This isn't a particularly deep movie and therefore also not the most interesting one to watch, or one in which you'll start to feel attached to the characters. There is never any good drama, no real sense of tension and danger and it doesn't feel like you ever get to truly know any of the characters. Most of the characters are just there to fill up the screen anyway it seems. It for most part just focuses on the Ender character, which I see as a missed opportunity. Here you have a movie with dozens of different characters, that however hardly make an impact on the story, with the exception of the Harrison Ford character, which is all really mostly thanks to the excellent performance by him.

In this case, I don't really put any of the blame for it on the writing. It more has to do with the directing and the pacing in particular. The movie is a far too fast going one. It doesn't slow down for anything and a lot of things happen and change at times, sometimes in the time span of mere minutes. This would have been fine for a type of science-fiction movie that put its emphasis on its action and entertainment but not for one that actually features hardly any real action in it, such as this one. It on the one hand is trying to be a serious movie but on the other it's still trying to bring entertainment as well, accompanied by some impressive looking special effect scenes. It's a combination that doesn't ever really work out that well, due to the fact that it can't ever seem to find a right balance.

I also had a hard time buying into the concept of young kids fighting wars for adults, just because they are better at playing video games? Sure, it's original and sounds like a kid's fantasy to some game loving kids but that's the problem; it's too much of a fantasy all really, which again doesn't work out too well in combination with the more serious approach that the movie is taking.

With a slower pace and some more character development in it, this potentially could have been a far more engaging and 'deeper' sort of movie to watch. The movie as it is is nothing more but a very average and 'light' to watch science-fiction flick, that's mostly aimed toward kids and doesn't offer an awful lot of excitement and interesting themes in it. At least not in the way it all gets handled and presented in this movie. A real missed opportunity all around.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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