So I just got back from the theater and watching Ender’s Game. I should likely preface this by stating that my review is perhaps a little informed by the fact that I didn’t really enjoy the book all that much; it had some good ideas and concepts, but my memory grew less fond of it as I’d sort of mulled it over and thought about it again and felt like it just felt less consistent and well-written. The movie, however, was somewhat different than I had expected.
First things first, as a person with a mild obsession about literature and film conversions, I actually liked the transition from the book to the film. Ender’s Game always had a sort of cinematic quality to it, and while some of the original dialogue is still hilariously poorly written, it’s greatly improved as far as the scope and scale of the narrative, narrowing it to follow Ender more closely as a protagonist, but otherwise mainly remains true to the original work, even if it is a little more rapid than the book as far as plot development goes.
Graphically, the movie was astounding. The CGI was impressive, both in the serene breathtaking awe of some of the space scenes and the space stations, but also for the battle scenes in which there were lots of fun explosions going on. The mind game also has some really impressive stuff, and there wasn’t anything that looked cheesy or rushed throughout the film, but it also didn’t force color grading or particular post-processing techniques beyond an acceptable point.
Story-wise, Ender’s Game as a movie is the same as the book, albeit glossing over some of the parts less directly related to Ender, making it much more fluid and creating more of a feel of rapid-fire development instead of the somewhat labored exposition that the book occasionally delved into.
One of the things that stuck with me from Ender’s Game was perhaps the soundtrack. It was actually one of the things that stuck out the most through the movie; a well-above average cinematic score that if not memorable is at least very well utilized throughout the movie to create an atmosphere of exploration, intensity, and emotion.
As far as the actors went, Harrison Ford really stole the show; there weren’t any “bad actors” in Ender’s Game, however, and everyone, especially Asa Butterfield, did a great job.
So, in short, I’d even go so far as to say that the movie’s better than the book, but no matter what your opinions on such things are I’d say that Ender’s Game is worth taking a look at.