Ender’s Game

Rated 2.0

In the film version of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel, the protagonist is Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a genius boy and master of futuristic video games and strategies. He’s targeted by a colonel (crusty and craggy Harrison Ford) as the savior of the human race, somebody whose skills can save Earth from a second attack by an alien insect species called the Formics. The movie has some impressive special effects and some great ideas at its core. What it doesn’t have is an engaging performance by its central actor. Butterfield just doesn’t cut it as Ender, opting for a mostly quiet intensity that results in boring stretches. Also, the finale feels tacked on, super condensed, and rushed. The character of Ender is required to switch emotional modes in a way that is too quick, and it feels false. I’m not denying that Ender’s Game was a masterfully intuitive notion as a novel. I’m just not impressed with the muddled effort director Gavin Hood hath wrought. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13 B.G.