Review: Ender’s Game

Filed under: Things that make me go ‘Meh’

Ender's Game

This past weekend I had a couple of free tickets to go and see Ender’s Game (EG). I love a bit of sci-fi and, given that I’d booked Gravity (review imminent) for Sunday, I figured I’d make it a space-based double bill and see EG on the Saturday.

First: here’s a pretty good reason why you shouldn’t see this film.

The number one reason why you should not see this film is because if you see this film, the studio, Lionsgate, may go ahead and make sequels. If that happens, then more money goes to the author of Ender’s Game, and extreme homophobe, Orson Scott Card. It is a sad state of affairs when the beliefs of an author get in the way of enjoying and/or recommending a film. But it is what it is, and I can’t change what I believe – or the way I feel.

For what it’s worth, Lionsgate gate have said that it is ‘undecided‘ on whether they’ll move ahead with any sequels. So let’s keep it that way and hope that Ender’s Game disappears (like the proposed follow ups to The Golden Compass and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe).


Second: here’s another pretty good reason you shouldn’t see this film.

It’s terrible.

Yes, there are some decent strategy moments, and yes the character of Ender is enjoyably smart. But plot hole after plot hole after plot hole – combined with some of the most diabolical acting I’ve seen on screen, ever – makes EG an absolute waste of time and money. I sat there wishing I’d read the books instead.

When I was in Edinburgh earlier this year, my friend would often say (after seeing particularly bad theatre): ‘Why did they bother?’ – not to be facetious or mean, but a genuine question: Why bother? Why did you bother doing it? Surely you must see that there isn’t much substance to this? What on Earth made you do this?

That’s how I felt about Ender’s Game.

I don’t know why they bothered.


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Author: James Whatley

Chief Strategy Officer in adland. I got ❤️ for writing, gaming, and figuring stuff out. I'm @whatleydude pretty much everywhere that matters. Nice to meet you x

2 thoughts on “Review: Ender’s Game”

  1. Didn’t they go ahead and make two more Chronicles of Narnia movies? Albeit that Disney jumped ship after Prince Caspian and Fox picked up (and, to their credit, made a pretty packet from) Dawn Treader?

    The thing that mystified me most about the Ender’s Game sell was the key art. The biggest challenge they had was to make Ender interesting, approachable, someone for young audiences unfamiliar with the book to want to meet and identify with. Yet pretty much every poster I saw he had his back turned. Didn’t get that at all.

    James Whatley Reply:

    They did, but they’re not doing all of them, are they? Plus the other two are fairly forgettable.

    I hadn’t noticed that other point about the key art. Weird.

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