Sunday, November 3, 2013

Books to Movies: Ender's Game

Adam C. Zern shares his thoughts on the film adaptation of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game:

"As a long time fan of the Ender's Game book and the subsequent franchise that has grown up around it, sequels, prequels, and expanded universe, I was incredibly excited to hear that the book would be adapted into a film.  I was always thought Ender's Game could be made into an outstanding film--the ending alone is perfectly cinematic--but it would certainly be challenging.

My first and biggest worry for the film adaptation was the man tapped to direct it.  Gavin Hood is not a particularly talented director, in my opinion.  X-Men Origins: Wolverine was absolutely abysmal, and to move from that project and take on Orson Scott Card's science fiction opus was not encouraging to me.  Although I feel Gavin Hood did better than I was expecting, I still think he made a very mediocre film which lacked the attention to detail that a story like Ender's Game required.  As I've written before, there were a few key elements I felt should have been a part of any Ender's Game film adaptation and Gavin Hood wasn't able to truly express any of them in a skillful way.

The biggest problem with the Ender's Game story from a film adaptation standpoint is the fact that it surrounds children.  It seems quite apparent that a Haley Joel Osment only comes around every once in a while.  Needless to say, trying to get a room full of child actors of that quality is a daunting if not impossible task. I still don't think the acting in the Ender's Game film had to be as poor as it was.  (I feel like The Sandlot had better acting in some instances).  It wasn't all bad in the acting department, though.  Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff was a perfect casting decision and he did an outstanding job.

Most depressing of all is that the film's ending, so brilliantly portrayed in the book, is kind of a dud in the film.  The scene is one of my favorites out of all of the books I have ever read, but the scene in the film makes little more than a whimper.  The set up for the Battle Room and Command School was very striking and interesting, but it never culminates into anything as emotionally involving as what the book offers.

Sometimes the film adaptations outpace and go beyond the books that inspired them.  Ender's Game the film is not one of those cases.  It's a mediocre film based on an excellent book, but I do think it was good enough to warrant sequels and thus my hope still lingers that the Ender's Game franchise will eventually get the attention and skilled talent it deserves."

Other Topics of Interest:
Books to Movies: The Hunger Games
Books to Movies: The Host
Memorable Moments: Ender's Game - Terribly Reality

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