Book & Movie Review: Ender’s Game

The Book

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Ender’s Game is one of those books that I have wanted to read for several years now but kept putting it off. I can’t say why I decided over and over again to not read it whenever I had the chance to but that’s what I kept doing. However I finally decided to stop procrastinating and finally read this book. Part of me wishes I had have kept procrastinating.

This book took me far too long to get into and even as I was nearing the end I felt that the book just didn’t have the pull and appeal that would fully drag me into story. So what was the reason for this lack of interest? I can’t say one hundred percent what it was but a big factor of it was Ender. For being the main character in this story I had absolutely no connection to him and zero sympathy over what he was being put through. I didn’t care that other kids hated him, I cheered the bullies on when they picked on him (which is not a normal reaction of bullying for me, I’m normally very against it) and found myself disappointed when he keep succeeding and being placed higher and higher than his rivals. If anything I kind of wanted to see Ender die.

The other characters were also lackluster to me. It seemed to be they either hated Ender or liked him, and those roles often reversed. Those who liked him ended up hating him, and some that hated him went on to like him, and then those opinions changed again in certain characters.

I think that the only part of the book I even remotely liked was when the truth about the final game was revealed, though honestly I saw that one coming so it wasn’t the big plot twist that it should have been. And even after that momentary feeling of the story turning around I found myself once again not caring. All I found myself wanted to do at this point was get to the end so I could be done with this book.

Overall this was a book I did not enjoy. The characters were boring, the story line was unpleasant to read and felt a bit predictable and the ending felt just thrown together. I might be missing something from that book that makes other people love it so much but in my opinion this book has far too much hype circling around it. I’m sure there are those out there who haven’t read this book that will enjoy it, but I don’t see myself recommending this one to others.

The Movie

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Back before I started the book I told myself I would watch the movie afterward since it was showing in the small theater in town. However after I finished the book and found myself pretty much hating it my decision to watch the movie was questioned. I took a few days to think about it and decided to go and watch it anyways.

For the most part the movie was about as appealing to me as the book was. I still didn’t care about the characters, the actors did a pretty good job playing the roles they were given, but I did feel that something wasn’t right with Asa Butterfield, the person who played the role of Ender. And as far as I’m concerned I can’t accept Harrison Ford in a science fiction role that’s not Han Solo, plus I really hated his character as well.

The story line held little appeal to me and I still wanted Ender to die. However there were some improvements to the movie. There wasn’t the constant cycle of him going into training, day after day, like in the book. They cutting out those repetitive scenes really did help the movie become less annoying than the book. Also since things were sped up it helped to get me to the end of the movie without wanting to leave the theater early from sheer boredom.

In the end though it was the CG that really made the movie and was what prompted me to give it a 3 star rating when I wanted to give it the same 2.5 stars as the book. That being said I am not a fan of CG dominated movies. I would much rather skip the special effects and be given an amazing story line to follow in a movie than be given two hours of top notch CG. However I know that a lot of people judge movies purely on CG and don’t care all that much for the story. And in the case of Ender’s Game I feel that for once I was glad for all the CG special effects because if they had have focused on the story more I would have left the movie.

While I didn’t enjoy the movie version of Ender’s Game I think that those who have read and enjoyed the book should also like the movie. It’s an updated and compressed version of the story but still holds true to a lot of the content from the book. However if you didn’t like the book or are iffy about it I wouldn’t recommend watching the movie, save your money and go watch something else.

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