I watch a lot of movies and very little television. I rarely, compared to the movies that i watch, feel the need to share my opinion on a movie. This is one of those times. Yes there may be spoilers in this. I haven’t written it yet but i can’t imagine this without some.
I have been waiting for this movie to come out for quite some time now. I remember when i heard the first rumors about this movie and was both giddy and frightened. Anyone who has ever had a movie made from a book they have read knows the movie isn’t going to be exactly like the book but hope it’ll be close and/or at least just a good movie. I approach this review with those premises. I have held this book along with Stranger in a Strange Land (Heinlein) and Dragonsinger (McCaffrey) probably as my top three, each for their own reasons.
From the aspect of a conversion from book to movie this movie sucks. I mean that the names might have been familiar and even some of the locations but that’s about it when it comes to being based on a book. Yes there is a certain level of creative license that one must take but a few changes here and there and it probably could have passed off as its own movie. That’s how distant it is from the actual book. None of the side stories were kept in in any appreciable way. Ender acted or reacted way off most of the time. His behavior is an extension of his growing up with his siblings and as a Third, all mostly ignored again. The order that characters were introduced was messed with. The other characters behavior was different. And the storyline was changed, the largest to me was the one at the end. So as a fan of the book I hated the movie. I loathe it. It will not end up in my collection. I don’t hate all conversions. I liked the Harry Potter ones and the Lord of the Ring ones. I’m still iffy on the Hobbit as it’s a short book being stretched over three movies, but maybe in the end the length with justify the multiple movies. Even Avatar (not the Cameron one) was a much better conversion.
As a movie Ender’s Game just sucked. I have walked out of one movie in my life. I think i was so disgusted i don’t even remember what it was. I almost walked out of this one. I admit it was tainted by my love of the book and seeing it being treated so poorly was breaking my heart. The character development was… oh wait, i can’t really talk about it because i don’t think there really was any. The pace was so frenetic there was no time to develop anything. The connections between scenes and thoughts was jumpy and difficult to follow and i read the book. I didn’t believe in the characters. At this moment i can’t think of a single one that sold me. There was very little suspension of disbelief. I feel i had little time to get bored because it shifted so quickly before i could invest in anything. I’ve read other reviews that praise the movie on its own merits as well as how well it sticks to the book.
In the end once it was over i first felt betrayed by the different story told or the stories that weren’t told that made the book so wonderful. Once that was over i just left. No sitting for the credits. Not even wanting to know if there was a spoiler trailer as i can’t see myself watching that one.
Even writing about this i feel sick inside that an author would let this movie be made with their approval. I hope it dies a quick death in the theaters and the sequel, which the author thinks may happen, never gets made.
I leave you to make your own conclusion if you end up seeing it. And I very much hope you read the book. It’s excellent.
-Santa’s Fallen Angel