Review: ‘Ender’s Game’ is a better adaptation than expected, but still has its flaws

2013-11-08-Enders-Game-movie-posterWhen I heard they were making a movie adaptation of “Ender’s Game,” I wondered how they would be able to encompass the story’s various plot threads and internal conflicts while also presenting the book’s darker material. Card’s novel is one of those rare books that defies classification, sometimes called “young adult” or “teen” literature, but also recommended reading for U.S. Marine Corps officers.

Directed by Gavin Hood (whose “Wolverine” film did not help my concerns) and featuring a star-studded cast with multiple Oscar winners and nominees, the film is a surprisingly faithful and mostly successful adaptation of the novel which won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards.

Packing solid action sequences with the more heady material, the film finds a nice balance, although a rushed final act leaves it stumbling to a close rather than with a flourish. The ending, which jumps from one new idea to the next within the span of a few minutes, may also confuse those who have not read the book, although since I have done so, it’s admittedly hard for me to make an accurate assessment.

The film is rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material.

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