Film review: Ender’s Game

posted at 9:31 am on November 3, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game finally makes it to the big screen, nearly 30 years after its publication.  Author Orson Scott Card waited until he could make sure that his vision of the story and characters prevailed, and the best part of that wait has been that technology has caught up to his imaginings.  Ender’s Game provides an expertly-paced film that asks tough questions about the best and worst aspects of humanity, as all good science fiction does.

Unlike most of those who will flock to theaters to see the film, I have never read the book.  It has always been on my bucket list, but instead I saw this as a novice.  I went with a friend who read the book when it was first published, and he seemed satisfied with the adaptation.  The film telescopes a lot of the book, as a film must do to fit into the two-hour format (unless your name is Peter Jackson, whose trailers nearly run two hours), but I was assured that the film retains the spirit and characterization in the novel.

If so, it’s easy to see why Ender’s Game won such acclaim.  In a future rendered bleak by a previous alien invasion, humanity has united around a single purpose: to make sure the aliens can never do it again.  A military dictatorship runs the planet, and they decide that the only strategy to defeat the swarming alien attacks are to use exceptional children who can process complex data more efficiently.  The moral ambiguities of this decision become acute at various points, but more surprising is the question of whether Ender Wiggin and his cohorts have been told the truth about the aliens — and which side is fighting for survival.

The cast helps bring the characters to life.  Much as the future of Earth rests on Ender, the film rests on the terrific performance by Asa Butterfield in the title role.  Harrison Ford matches up well as Graff, the colonel who has to get Ender ready for the big battle, which may not be exactly what Ender thinks.  Viola Davis plays the military psychiatrist posing some of the uncomfortable ethical questions but really isn’t given much else to do.  The rest of the performances don’t measure up, but at least they don’t get in the way.  Thanks to the telescoping of the training sequences in the book, the rapid success of Ender tends to look a little contrived, but that doesn’t get in the way, either.

Even for those who haven’t read the book, Ender’s Game is a good-bordering-on-excellent film.  For fans of the book, it’s must-see cinema.  On the Hot Air scale, Ender’s Game gets a 5:

  • 5 – Full price ticket
  • 4 – Matinee only
  • 3 – Wait for Blu-Ray/DVD/PPV rental or purchase
  • 2 – Watch it when it hits Netflix/cable
  • 1 – Avoid at all costs

Ender’s Game is rated PG-13 for violence, action, and heavier themes, but that’s a tad misleading.  My 11-year-old granddaughter read the book this summer, and I wouldn’t have a problem taking her to see it.

Update: It should be noted that there was a small but vocal contingent on the Left demanding a boycott of the film because of Orson Scott Card’s opposition to same-sex marriage.  I doubt that they will have any impact on the box office for Ender’s Game, and if you’re inclined to get annoyed at these shout-down efforts, buy a ticket and make your annoyance felt in real terms.  I didn’t mention this earlier because the film really does stand on its own quite well.


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Sterling Holobyte on November 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

I try not to criticize or judge what other people like or dislike in the form of entertainment. I love some truly crappy movies and my reading habits are all over the spectrum. What people like me dislike about the movie version of Starship Troopers is the total re-writing of the entire idea of the book. Only the names remain the same nothing else bears any resemblance to the book. The book has a huge fan base and following. Heinlein hit on an ideology that resonates with a lot of folks. Veerhoven perverted it to some cross between Utopian Naziism and Brave New World. I actually enjoy the movie if I don’t think about it being “Starship Troopers.” Also I have to turn off my head before watching. C’mon when that bug skewers Denise Richards through the shoulder and she’s up and walking around 10 minutes later…get real. Not even Zimm could do that.

Oldnuke on November 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Sterling Holobyte on November 3, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Forgot to ask. Have you read Starship Troopers?

Oldnuke on November 3, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Just got back home from seeing it.

I agree with Ed’s review.

I like how Ed mentions ‘A military dictatorship runs the planet..”.

Yes, it does.

We on the Right don’t wonder why the Left likes manufactured crysis, as this makes it much easier for centralizing power.

I also have not read the book, but had no problem watching this movie and keeping up.

I give it a 5 too.

KirknBurker on November 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Out of 320 million people, there are a grand total of maybe 20,000 conservatives that are willing to give up luxuries in order to defund the liberal causes. There are 10 to 30 million, three orders of magnitude more, liberals who are willing to give up luxuries, or voice they will, in order to impose their will on the rest of the people.

astonerii on November 3, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Nicely said.

kim roy on November 3, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Harrison Ford has chosen to join the ecoterrorists and thus he is a no money earning from me Actor.

I was so eager to see this film, but when I saw him in the trailer, my heart sank.

Honestly, it is time for you to bring politics into the determination of where you think the movie should be seen. Every dollar we pay for our entertainment enhances the wallets of those that aim to enslave us to a tyrannical government.

This this said, the movie should be watched on a borrowed DVD or from Netflix at best.

astonerii on November 3, 2013 at 4:17 PM

This is one reason why we rarely see films at the theater.

But you’re forgetting all that’s been written in this thread about why lefties are boycotting the movie.

itsnotaboutme on November 3, 2013 at 6:19 PM

I’ve read the book and just saw the movie today. I was pleasantly surprised with how true to the book it stayed, for a Hollywood film, but the Battle School really got short shrift and that is the best part of the book IMHO. I was not surprised by that as it would make a pretty dull film. I saw the film at a matinee and I would say it was just worth that. Those waiting for the DVD are justified in doing so. The CGI was generic by current standards. The acting, outside of Butterfield was very generic. This movie was not as good as John Carter of Mars IMO. It’s certainly not worth multiple viewings.

Rocks on November 3, 2013 at 6:47 PM

unclesmrgol on November 3, 2013 at 1:38 PM

I liked Carbonite for HD backup, even using twice to retrieve certain files, etc.

However, when they pulled adds off Limbaugh’s radio show because of a little pressure from hateful leftist groups, I told them they need to stand on principle and free speech.

They DID call me to ask why. Interesting, as normally I don’t receive a CALL from a vendor when I drop using them.

KirknBurker on November 3, 2013 at 6:55 PM

“Ender’s Game” is coming to our local IMAX theater in early December, and we are definitely going to see it. We saw a preview for it at IMAX before we saw “Thor 2″, and it looked awesome.

Timothy S. Carlson on November 3, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Oh, one note, the guy who played Bonzo Madrid acting was very good but he looked completely wrong.

Rocks on November 3, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Forgot to ask. Have you read Starship Troopers?

Oldnuke on November 3, 2013 at 5:01 PM

I picked it up when it was re-released before the movie came out. Was really disappointed by the movie. No power suits, no explanation of how the bugs are space-faring, and gratuitous gruesome death scenes.

Count to 10 on November 3, 2013 at 9:08 PM

Good to see Hailee Steinfeld in a hit movie again..:) True Grit was great!! :) Just to think she was up for the Hunger Games too.

dec5 on November 3, 2013 at 9:09 PM

“Seed corn”

Don’t get it.

Murphy9 on November 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM

Investments expected to turn profits. Actual seeds, the best saved for the next crop.

bour3 on November 3, 2013 at 10:00 PM

Just got back from seeing it. It was awesome. I have read the book, but it’s been a while. I noticed they changed a few things here and there, but for the most part stayed true to the book. Although some say they steered away in many areas, I was actually shocked at how close to the book it stayed. Watch Nightfall if you want to see something completely changed around.

MrX on November 3, 2013 at 10:39 PM

For folks who’ve read the book and say the movie is a good/reasonable adaptation, I wonder if we saw the same movie.

Early in the book, Ender is struggling in his launch group and never emerges as a leader until he leaves the group and starts offering training sessions for launchies. In the movie, Ender sits alone during meals until he stands up to Dap (basically his CO) and complains about their emails being monitored. Once he’s disrespectful to authority, now everyone loves him. Totally out of nowhere, totally not in the book at all.

In the movie, Petra gets Jennifer Lawrence’d, where you take a tough, difficult, pain in the butt girl and turn her into a soft, pretty, sweet love interest. For no reason, they have her join Ender’s team in the final battle school battle vs. two armies. Their banter during training about, “we’ll have to do this again sometime” is so out of character with the real Petra it’s ridiculous.

Dap is a psycho drill sergeant in the movie and they write him cheesy and cliche enough that he actually tells Ender to drop and give him 20. In the book, Dap is never a gruff drill sergeant and is typically soft spoken and friendly.

The biggest and worst changes (imho :-) had to do with the ending.
Just before the last battle, Ender loses a battle? Where did that come from and what purpose did it serve? They never show Ender tired, trashed, chewing lips bloody with nightmares, and they never communicate any sense that the final battle is impossible For some strange reason, when the battle is over, Ender isn’t tired, exhausted and convinced he cheated (like he is in the book), he shouts out, “I did it.” All the adults that had been watching are talking quietly to themselves at first, and the kids are all wondering what’s wrong. It’s the total opposite of the book and it makes no sense why the adults didn’t shout out and cheer right when the planet blew up like they did in the book, but wait, have silent conversation for a bit then look like they’re golf clapping.

But the biggest difference is the way in which Graf comes across as a warmonger who wanted to wipe out the buggers even if he found out they weren’t threatening them and meant no more harm. There’s nothing in the book that talks about not finishing the final battle because the buggers are not attacking. If Ender is supposed to believe it’s all a simulation and a game, why would he even think about them not attacking or be concerned about wiping them out? It makes no sense, but it fits the switched narrative that the adults represent the evil, government run war machine that wants to wipe out anything not human and manipulates, lies to and uses children to do their evil. Card spends a lot of time in the rest of the original Ender series (not Shadow series) discussing what Ender did and it’s moral implications. In the movie, the message seems pretty clear, it was intentional, fear-based, xeno-phobic genocide.

So of course in the movie they skip the ending of the book and the discussion with the hive queen of why the war happened–the lack of the ability to communicate and the hive queen’s unawareness that humans were sentient, not that humans were out to kill any non-humans.

Many of the changes were simple and hollywood, Petra being soft and pretty, way too many girls in battle school, Dap being a silly drill sergeant, Bonzo being a foot shorter than Ender and coming from Hanna Montana movie that made it a joke to take him seriously. But the overall tone of the movie changed many of the fundamental narratives Card worked hard to instill in the book.

Rickoxo on November 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

EXCELLENT Movie!!!

Harrison Ford was Juuust PERFECT in his role!

The Kid was the PERFEECT CHOICE for “Ender”! His performance – Perfect!

Yes – I’ve read All of the books that are out there…..

An Excellent job of realizing a very complicated and layered book!

williamg on November 3, 2013 at 11:33 PM

Yeah no. I have a strict $10 per YEAR budget for anything hollywood (music, movies, books, can’t control television yet) and any money of mine won’t be going to them.

nobar on November 3, 2013 at 11:36 PM

KirknBurker on November 3, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Indeed. Once upon a time, I wouldn’t have cared. But the liberals have been so successful with these boycott threats, I think turnabout is fair play.

unclesmrgol on November 4, 2013 at 12:01 AM

njrob on November 3, 2013 at 2:26 PM

But, again, they don’t figure out that the lack of telepathy doesn’t imply nonsentience until after the second invasion?

I believe that was an inartful plot complication. If I were any space going species, I would assume that any other space going species is intelligent until that other species proves otherwise. I don’t attack and attempt to destroy them when they’ve got artificial satellites orbiting their planet.

But thank you for trying to answer my question. As I indicated in my first comment, I read the book in the 1980′s. The questions are natural outgrowths of sloppy plot construction by Card.

Not that Card is alone in this. If you want really sloppy plot in a ripping good yarn, “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs takes the cake.

unclesmrgol on November 4, 2013 at 12:07 AM

Rickoxo on November 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

A lot of what you said rung true for me as well. I just chalk it up to being a screen play based more on the short story than the book.

unclesmrgol on November 4, 2013 at 12:07 AM

Second invasion?

The buggers attacked the planet once. Everything the buggers do with their lives is organic-based; their ship is organic, their interaction is organic, their “machines” are organic. They would have no comprehension of the steel objects in our upper atmosphere and low space environs. It’s not how they behave.

I understand your critiques and I know you feel it’s just a plot device, but I could see how it would work in real life. How would we react to a lifeform that could only exist on methane? There are tons of possibilities out there that we just don’t consider because we expect life to be like us.

On a separate note, if you’re looking for reading material and in to Sci-Fi/Fantasy, you might want to give Joe Abercrombie a shot. He’s much like GRRM without all the pretentiousness and useless filler.

njrob on November 4, 2013 at 1:05 AM

Threat of impending invasion from space aliens? Investing in elaborate wargames in space? If you’re Paul Krugman, what’s not to love?

The Schaef on November 4, 2013 at 4:28 AM

Thanks for the review, Ed. I’d like to see it but will probably read the book first. I have a friend who is a big fan and hifhly recommends the book.

ted c on November 4, 2013 at 6:01 AM

I thought the book was okay not great…and the movie has Harrison Ford, a liberal idiot who I have no desire to help financially, so I’ll pass on the film.

zoyclem on November 4, 2013 at 7:24 AM

The buggers attacked the planet once. Everything the buggers do with their lives is organic-based; their ship is organic, their interaction is organic, their “machines” are organic. They would have no comprehension of the steel objects in our upper atmosphere and low space environs. It’s not how they behave.

I understand your critiques and I know you feel it’s just a plot device, but I could see how it would work in real life. How would we react to a lifeform that could only exist on methane? There are tons of possibilities out there that we just don’t consider because we expect life to be like us.

On a separate note, if you’re looking for reading material and in to Sci-Fi/Fantasy, you might want to give Joe Abercrombie a shot. He’s much like GRRM without all the pretentiousness and useless filler.

njrob on November 4, 2013 at 1:05 AM

I’m sorry, I read the book this summer in preparation for the movie and the buggers attacked earth twice. Yet ANOTHER unnecessary cut from the book to the movie. It helps understand the fear of humanity that they would be back.

Further, to unclesmrgol’s point, it wasn’t that the buggers didn’t think humanity was intelligent, it’s that the hive queen (who is the SOLE intelligence in the buggers race) didn’t understand that each individual could be sentient. To her, a species could be sentient like she and her sisters/children. To think individual drones (humans) had intelligence was beyond her until we killed her sister-queen in the second invasion. THEN she began to find out what we were.

So, your idea that “any space faring race HAS to be intelligent” well, yes, that’s what the buggers thought too. They just didn’t understand how. To the buggers individuals (other than the queen) were as important as a hair on your arm. It’s the idea of how DIFFERENT we are and why that difference frightened humanity into wiping out the buggers because we COULDN’T understand each other until just before Ender killed them all.

makattak on November 4, 2013 at 9:06 AM

And, I, too saw the movie this weekend and was disappointed.

It may have been the best Hollywood could do to adapt the movie to the screen, but, well, Hollywood sucks.

The adapters didn’t understand the purpose of the book. They didn’t understand the characters role. They didn’t understand the nature of the conflict. They don’t understand REAL humans.

The left wing bias of the adapters was obvious given their rewritings.

Rickoxo on November 3, 2013 at 10:51 PM

Rick here gets a lot of the problems.

I have a perfect illustration as to the way the adapters simply don’t understand the book nor humanity.

First of all, they have Ender complain about his emails being censored. He begins by ASKING if they were. Ender is supposed to be an absolute genius. He KNOWS they are censoring him and he knows that there is no need or use to ask about it.

Further, they have Harrison Ford explain that this is a war and we will censor you. (GASP!!!… from the writers, of course.) I’m sorry, but if you have to spell that out (and, worse, try to make it sound heavy handed), then you are a fool and have no understanding of actual war. Which, of course, explains how the adapters tried to change it from the complex problems of humanity dealing with the unknown and justified fear to bloodthirsty genocide and WE HAVE TO KILL THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE DIFFERENT!!!

Hollywood doesn’t understand complexity.

makattak on November 4, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Oh, I forgot to note the clear “overpopulation!!111!!1!” propaganda, too.

(Admittedly, Card included that as a side note in his book, but they made the war about it, not survival.)

makattak on November 4, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Cool! I wanted to see it this week-end but had other obligations… maybe tonight.

petunia on November 4, 2013 at 10:15 AM

To those accusing Hollywood of a lousy adaptation of Card’s novel, please keep in mind that Card, when asked why he resisted a film adaptation of Ender’s Game, called his novel “basically unfilmable.” This, not because the novel was bad, but because it all takes place from Ender’s point-of-view, and that is a difficult thing to do with a movie.

gryphon202 on November 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

If you’re fighting interstellar aliens in your own planet’s atmosphere you’re going to lose, and badly.

Isn’t there any halfway believable science fiction anymore?

Looks like a 1.5 at best: Watch it some time after decent quality torrents become available on the net.

DarkCurrent on November 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

If you’re fighting interstellar aliens in your own planet’s atmosphere you’re going to lose, and badly.

DarkCurrent on November 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Earth did lose badly, DC. It wasn’t until they took the fight to the buggers that they won. At least know what you’re talking about before you express an opinion.

gryphon202 on November 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Forgot to ask. Have you read Starship Troopers?

Oldnuke on November 3, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Yeah, I guess I should have wrote what I was thinking about writing at the end of my previous post, “Although, I have never read the book.” :)

But I can see how disappointing it can be to see a movie based on a book that you liked, and have the movie bear little to no resemblance to the book. Though speaking simply as someone who did not read the book, I still think it was an interesting, original movie, the way it was done, taken at face value.

C’mon when that bug skewers Denise Richards through the shoulder and she’s up and walking around 10 minutes later…get real. Not even Zimm could do that.

Oldnuke on November 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Ha ha! Yeah, I did notice and wonder about that. She’s a pretty tough broad, I guess(and quite easy on the eyes as well). Either that, or it was at the end of the movie, so maybe they didn’t care about the implausibility of it at that point. It probably would have added more cost to the budget to have her carried out, and do her last speaking scenes, on a stretcher.

Sterling Holobyte on November 4, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Earth did lose badly, DC. It wasn’t until they took the fight to the buggers that they won. At least know what you’re talking about before you express an opinion.

gryphon202 on November 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

By lose badly I meant “be completely exterminated”.

Fighting alien interstellar invasion ships with upgraded F-35s? Come on.

Think about it before you express an opinion.

DarkCurrent on November 4, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Why aren’t there any movies where the humans try to invade a relatively primitive planet and get their asses handed to them?

DarkCurrent on November 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Why not a movie where the aliens invade, we unleash the nukes (after the usual, “Use nuclear weapons in our own country?” angst), and TOTALLY annihilate the enemy. I mean NOTHING left but vaporized metal and a big hole in the ground, and the enemy goes, “What the hell was THAT?” It turns out the enemy discovered energy beam weapons early on, and never pursued crazy ideas like creating a small sun and turning it loose on the environment.

We wipe out the advance force, steal a few remaining ships by irradiating them with “neutron bombs,” return to their home planet and wipe THEM out and steal their resources.

Man, just ONCE…

JamesS on November 4, 2013 at 6:33 PM

IIRC, the point of the book was that Ender thought it was all Simulation/Training, so he did what he had to do to win. After he found out it was Real, well, Speaker Of The Dead followed.

If the movie lets him twig that he’s really killing, it’s a bust.

Will watch later on Hulu or such, hope it’s a better adaptation than Starship Troopers was. Kindle’ng the book now for a re-read. It was 30 years ago, after all.

Who is John Galt on November 4, 2013 at 8:32 PM

There are a lot of questions raised here, like why population controls and whether the buggers are the good guys. The question ARE answered in other volumes in the “Enderverse”, starting with “First Meetings in the Enderverse” and going on … well, I’m not sure now where they end.

But you should read the main thread: Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind. You may think the last one jumps the shark; I think it’s right on the edge. But if you want the answers, they are out there.

njcommuter on November 4, 2013 at 8:38 PM

This is one of the best book-to-screen adaptations I’ve seen. Yes, numerous subplots and action points were mashed together to streamline the pace and run-time, but the critical elements of the story were kept intact as thoroughly as I could have hoped.

The complaint about the book that Ender is too much of a wonderboy misses the point. The human race had been trying for over 50 years to find the mind capable to managing a space battle against a massive force operated as a hive mind. Ender’s parents provided the right genetics, and his siblings were mentally as capable as he, but unfit for opposing emotional reasons. It is solely that Ender is that brilliant, that he could be the best hope of mankind.

I strongly urge people to read the book before seeing the movie, if you are at all interested. There are many details you will be able to identify that will be utterly invisible to you without the foundation of the complete story.

I agree with a few commentors that a few minutes could have been added to the runtime in order to flesh out the ending. It appears that they have no serious plans for a follow-up, or else intend to move the story farther from the book series.

Ed, your mention of the acting is painful in its failure to mention Ben Kingsley, one of my favorite actors, who did a fine job of keeping his character understated in spite of the obvious opportunity to be far more prominent.

Freelancer on November 4, 2013 at 10:09 PM

In re the substitution of “Formic” for “bugger”: I am surprised that the HA community is so unacquainted with British slang, especially as the vulgar meaning is relatively apropos other segments of the discussion.

In re the Geeks Out boycott: they made a serious mistake attacking Card instead of engaging him in polite dialogue; he is actually very sympathetic to the problems of persons with gender / orientation issues, but adamatly unpersuaded by bullies (cf, um, “Ender’s Game”).

And libfreeordie is correct about Card’s general political slant: definitely leftward on many issues (especially immigration); but very right-wing in others — a mixed bag that makes for some cognitive dissonance on occasion.

For my money, they should have filmed the original short-story and ignored the novel version altogether.

AesopFan on November 4, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Outside of gay marriage, Cards politics are so progressive…I’m amazed that neither side recognizes that. I mean have you READ Pastwatch or the Alvin Maker series?

libfreeordie on November 3, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Partisan politics absolutely requires the omission of any fact incongruent with the position under attack.
Card’s political philosophy is not uniquely right or left, but I’ve never been able to pinpoint his underlying rationale (although some of his beliefs are clearly tied to LDS doctrine, he doesn’t march in lock-step with anyone in or out of the Mormon church).

Pastwatch is one of his most interesting books (and one of the least “representative” of his usual writing style).
I prefer his early short stories and novels, before he became a “business” and started writing the same character-types into every story, with increasingly banal dialogue. Even so, his “take” on the serious questions of life are worth exploring, and he still has some strikingly original approaches to story-telling.

AesopFan on November 4, 2013 at 11:02 PM

Suppose there was a nation that was desperately resource poor and vastly overpopulated. Suppose that nation, seeking a solution, decided to colonize a neighboring country and attacked them. The neighboring country manages to throw them back and survives. But over the next years, the victims of that war see a mammoth build-up in the armed forces of that aggressor nation. What should they do? If you see the movie “Enders Game”, you’ll see the liberal solution.

SPOILER ALERT!

In the movie, the Formics attacked Earth once and in a sort of miracle rendered by a military hero, were defeated. It turns out that the Formics, who resemble ants, have a hive society and the death of a queen renders them all helpless. Now the people of Earth have noticed a huge military build-up on the Formic’s home planet. Fearing a repeat attack, they formulate a plan to pre-empt and all they need is another military genius. That turns out to be Ender Wiggins. In the end, Wiggins is successful, wiping out the Formics planet in what he thought was a simulation that turned out to be real. But when Wiggens discovers that, he flips his Wiggens and accuses Col. Graff, his trainer, of perpetrating genocide against the Formics. Wiggens realizes that the Formics were trying to communicate with him via a computer game. He thinks they just wanted peace and did the huge military build-up because they just wanted to defend their planet. Too late… maybe. Wiggens discovers a Formic queen and her eggs and offers to take the eggs to some other planet and reestablish the species, just to make up for his having attacked their planet unprovoked.

You may recall that Germany, under the Nazis, wanted “lebensraum”, or “living room” and decided that eastern Europe, into the Soviet Union, had to be conquered. They eventually attacked and for their efforts, got their Teutonic butts kicked. What would the Soviets have done if Nazi Germany survived and then did a mighty miiltary build-up again? Likewise, Japan, feeling resource poor, attacked China, Indonesia and southeast Asia, eventually coming up against the United States and Britain. They, toom, got their butts kicked. If Imperial Japan surived and did another huge military build-up, would America have stood by to see if they had peaceful intentions. Suppose that someone told the Soviets and America that their former enemies, who had a hive-like collectivist mentality, merely wanted to ensure their homeland was safe even though nobody invaded them back when they originally lost the war. Would you believe them?

That’s the trouble with Enders Game. Going from military hero to singing, “All we are saying, is give peace a chance” seems just what Hollywood treasures. That is, a chance to inform us, once again, that America’s military might is the source of aggression and war in the world, not the bad guys. If only we talked to them and understood them, as only Wiggens could with the Formics, we’d all sing Kumbayah together. Because, you see, for the left, ideology is never the problem. It’s our militarism. Enders Game is well done. But in the end, it’s just more leftist propaganda.

By the way, I didn’t recognize Abigail Breslin. She has grown.

NNtrancer on November 5, 2013 at 12:20 AM

Oh, I forgot to note the clear “overpopulation!!111!!1!” propaganda, too.

(Admittedly, Card included that as a side note in his book, but they made the war about it, not survival.)

makattak on November 4, 2013 at 9:38 AM

It wasn’t a side note, it was the basis for Ender’s entire character development…he was called ‘Third’ all the time by his pre-launch tormentors because it was so unusual for parents to be allowed to have a third child. The conflicts associated with his third child status laid the groundwork for the fighter he would later become.

James on November 5, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Man, just ONCE…

JamesS on November 4, 2013 at 6:33 PM

That’d be comical!

DarkCurrent on November 5, 2013 at 5:03 PM

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