Yeah, this is about how I felt after seeing the movie. The book, for me, was mostly interesting because what Ender was doing contrasted sharply with what Peter and Valentine were doing on Earth. Without two storylines to bounce around there is only Ender and a watered-down view of what Battle School looked like. And, yes, it's watered down. They try to show it but this is Hollywood. They couldn't (or wouldn't) get the kids to act like the terrifying little monsters they had been trained to become. Not that the actors themselves couldn't. I know for a fact that Haille Steinfeld,
|This girl. The one girl. Who's job was to be "The Girl" and push a button.|
was amazing in TRUE GRIT and could have been amazing in ENDER'S GAME, too, had the script allowed for it. Ender's Game was written pre-Hunger Games and during the tail end of the Cold War. Orson Scott Card was part of the disenchanted rising generation and the whole point of the book to to examine the senseless waste of the military industrial complex and to prove that one doesn't have to be a certain age to excell and to know when things are wrong. By focusing exclusively on Ender but without actually showing the true harshness and isolation he experienced his whole life, most of the film ended up silently supporting the status quo. Sure, there was some heavy-handed moralizing at the end but it couldn't make up for the 90 minutes of glorious tedious war we just saw beautifully rendered.
Anyway, everyone gave it their best but the movie ended up feeling a lot like the first Harry Potter movie -- playing out more like a highlight reel than an actual story.