Hitting theaters at the beginning of November, the highly anticipated novel-turned-film, Ender’s Game, is a military science fiction story of a boy and the war against aliens. Writing the screenplay based off of Orson Scott Card’s novel and directing the film, Gavin Hood does a fantastic job of bringing the novel’s out-of-this-world setting to life. Although the film features some Hollywood veterans–such as Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Moises Arias, and Ben Kingsley–the most memorable performance was by 16-year-old star Asa Butterfield, known previously for his roles in The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and Hugo.
Asa plays the young Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, who is chosen out of his family to begin training among other children for the war against the Formics–ant-like aliens who have attacked Earth and are awaiting their next assault. Chosen for his ability to be aggressive, intuitive, and cunning, all while maintaining empathy and understanding towards his enemy, Ender is sent to Battle School up in space. In Battle School, Ender is isolated and alone, outcasted by his peers for being a favorite of Colonel Graff (played by Harrison Ford). Despite this, Ender is determined to succeed and become a leader among his peers. Along the way, he meets Bean, Petra, Alai, Dink, and Bernard, who later become commanders under Ender’s order. Through disobedience, state-of-the-art battle tactics, and perseverance, Ender climbs his way to the top until he is promoted to Command School, where he once again finds himself in simulation training. This time, however, it is far more intense. Along with the fierce simulation training, Ender receives a mentor, the infamous Mazer Rackham, who first defeated the Formics. Ender, Mazer, and his team of skilled commanders train hard to learn what they must do in order to defeat the Formics.
Although many fans of Card’s original novel may be apprehensive to see the movie rendition, they need not worry. As expected of any film adaptation of a book, there are few changes made to the story. Among the most significant changes to the story was the journey of Ender’s siblings, Valentine and Peter, and how they came to be world-renowned political influences at such a young age. Not wanting to shift focus from Ender’s character, Hood decided to leave this part of the novel out, along with other minor aspects of the story. For the most part, the movie does not deviate from the original plot. With a twist at the end of the film that will leave you counting down the days until a sequel, Ender’s Game certainly delivers exactly what it promises: an exciting outer space adventure of an extraordinary boy.