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Old November 9 2013, 08:39 PM   #137
Lieutenant Junior Grade
Re: Ender's Game (2013 Film)

tighr wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Well, I haven't actually seen the movie yet, so I don't know how accurate these reviews are. I've read the book, so I know how that story plays out, but how well does the movie capture these points?
Just got back from watching. The film touches on these points, but due to the nature of films I think it fails to drive them home.

I enjoyed it, but I can see where the reviewers who didn't read the book are going to miss out on the message. They don't explain why they needed children, nor that these kids are the smartest in the world. Just that they get good grades and are good at wargames. They don't drive home the point that Ender isn't just a good Commander, he's the best there ever was. The fight with Bonzo comes across as an accident instead of as a pure tactical calculated total destruction of his enemy. Casting a shorter actor (I think he's even shorter than Bean) takes away some of the menace, too. Instead of a big kid trying to beat up a little kid and losing badly, its a jerk getting what's coming.

The passage of time (5 years in the book) is ignored, and the film seems to take place in less than a year.
This precisely summed up my issues with the movie. I liked it, but it missed several things, which you well enumerated here. My addition to it would be the attempt to compress the story in a very poor way: moving Command School from the Asteroid Belt to the Formic colony world. First, to get there as quickly as they did would require faster-than-light travel, which is prohibited by our known laws of physics and even an important aspect of the Enderverse. Even traveling at maximum speeds close to the speed of light, time dilation occurs which causes time to pass far more quickly for those cruising the stars than those on worlds. Yet, neither of these physics issues is noted in the movie, which makes it incompatible with any of the sequel stories.

Even more critical if we are looking at the movie as a standalone story independent of any of the sequel books, it makes it clear that we were defeating the Formics all along. We ran them off all their colonies. We had them trapped on their homeworld. All of Ender's battles must have been simulations, except for the very last. In the book, Ender himself was the one pushing them off their various worlds, as all the battles were real.

The ansible isn't explained, just namedropped. The fleet isn't explained as having traveled for 50 years, so you lose the weight of human capital for the war effort.
While you are right here as well, they did show the fleet's impending arrival in "28 days." I thought that was a foolish thing to do as well, as it implied that the real battles were very soon. It would have been wiser for them to leave that part ambiguous. The whole book we think the International Fleet is preparing for the next invasion, and only at the end do we realize that we are the next invasion. In the movie it's obvious the whole time that we were the aggressors the whole way through. Makes the xenocide even more despicable on our part, as it looks far more avoidable than in the books.
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