Ender’s Game: a film with a deeper meaning


Based on the best-selling, award winning novel, “Ender’s Game” has finally hit theatres. From looking at the description and movie posters, one tends to get the impression the film is going to be another alien sci-fi movie with lots of guns and violence. Even the book’s description depicts a young boy, only six, being carted off to military school to be trained to kill. Although this is the basis of the plot, the story offers a lot more, including some big life questions.

The story starts out with a young boy, Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), training in military school. He is one of many children selected for the training program that prepares them to fight a hostile alien race called the Formics. Years before, the Formics had attacked Earth, wanting to take it for its resources. To prepare for the next attack, the best and brightest children were gathered and put to the test in hopes of finding a leader to lead them out of war. Ender, though shy, is strategically brilliant and is seen as the best hope for humanity. Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) promotes Ender to Command School where he competes and trains with other young recruits. At Command school Ender thrives and becomes one of the best in the program.

The movie moves a little too quickly at points, especially when as Ender moves up in rank and becomes a commander. It can be hard to believe a child who only seems ten can be so dark and complex. It would have been helpful to have had more background information on Ender’s childhood and what he grew up experiencing.

Butterfield does a great job with the role. The character of Ender is dark and moody and Butterfileld displayed some of those characteristics in his previous film “Hugo”. Although he is a small boy who doesn’t appear to be strong, he gives off the impression he could kick your butt if he wanted to and he displays this several times in the movie.

The very end of the movie is a bit confusing. Although the big plot problem is resolved, you’re left with a kind of empty feeling, and it leaves you with the impression you missed something really big. A few big questions remained unanswered but what can you expect of a movie based off a book? The film gets left open for a sequel but at the same time could be left as it is, unfinished leaving you wondering what happens.

The overall movie leaves you wondering if a child remarkable as Ender could exist or if it was far-fetched. Thinking of a child that brilliant and in control of war is a frightening thing.  Books and movies tend to be more centered on young teens and children starting wars and rebellions. “The Hunger Games” was a smashing hit as well as “City of Bones” and “Harry Potter”. Movies tend to stretch far beyond what’s actually possible but that’s what makes them so great. That’s what made “Ender’s Game” a thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking film.