endersgameThere have been plenty of story lines revolving around teens that save the world or have the ability to come close.

Ender's Game

I will be the first to admit when I am wrong. And granted it is rare. Normally I am a pretty decent judge of a film going in. You don't have to be A.O Scott to have a handle on films that are based on books found in the teen adventure section of your local library. There have been plenty of story lines revolving around teens that save the world or have the ability to come close. They are geared toward the young movie goers and most others find them trite. So that is why I am happy to say that ENDER'S GAME is a pleasant surprise.

Set far enough into the future that nothing is recognizable and alien attacks are forever imminent, we find young Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) training to lead his fellow soldiers into a battle. Under the command of a tough and focused Colonel, (Harrison Ford) Ender must find a way to overcome his own personal demons and prove he has the goods to succeed. He is shipped away to The International Military Academy where he must learn to lead if he wants to save Earth.

This film is fun to watch regardless if you ever cracked the spine of the book series. It will of course help to be drawn to the Sci-fi genre. Set in space with lots of high tech gadgetry Ender's Game borrows from others in the past while elevating itself above the norm. It looks like Tron but far exceeds the depth of story. It has the premise of After Earth but totally blows the acting off the planet.

The dialouge and chemistry of the young actors make this a film with humor and likeable characters. Their friendships seem natural and never forced. Sure there are the normal stereotypes but they work here and seldom seem disjointed. Butterfield nails the future-geek motif and has an ability to hide behind dark eyes. You see a young man battling inwardly without ever flinching outwardly.

Ender's Game is rated PG-13 for some violence, sci-fi action and thematic material.It will be a home run for the 13-17 age group. As an adult I never felt I needed to dumb down my perspective to believe the young actors. The visuals and graphics are superb and make this more than just a teen adventure. It goes without saying that it was a bit exciting to see Ford back in the Science Fiction world and here he seems like he finally has come home where he belongs. I give it 4 out of 5 bottom bunks. See it in IMAX to get the full experience. It may view better there than on Blu-ray later.

Matt Mungle

Review copyright 2013 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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