‘Ender’s Game’ Receives Lukewarm Reception From Critics

Although Ender’s Game is based on an acclaimed sci-fi novel, director Gavin Hood’s adaptation is receiving lukewarm reviews from the nation’s critics.

Based on the book by Orson Scott Card, the movie tells the story of humanity’s struggle against a violent alien threat. In order to defeat this interplanetary invasion, the International Military enlists the help of a brilliant youngster named Ender Wiggin. The film stars Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, and Hailee Steinfeld.

The review recently posted over at the New York Daily News is probably one of the most scathing to hit the internet ahead of the flick’s national release. Out of a possible five stars, the website gave Gavin Hood’s Ender’s Game zero. The opening paragraph essentially tells you everything you need to know.

The critic explains:

“On the dark side of the moon, where awful cult sci-fi and fantasy adaptations are buried, there’s a special cave for ‘Ender’s Game.’ This movie of a 1985 outer-space military allegory is one of the dullest, dumbest, most tedious movies this year. It makes ‘Battlefield: Earth’ and ‘John Carter’ look like ‘The Godfather’ parts one and two. ‘Dune’ is “Lawrence of Arabia” next to this thing.”

Boston Globe reviewer Peter Keough was particularly disappointed with Ender’s Game since the filmmakers had a wealth of quality material at their fingertips.

“With so much to work with, it is disappointing that Gavin Hood’s adaptation is not much more than the world’s coolest video game. This version of “Ender’s Game” lacks passion and pain. Acted without affect in settings that are as devoid of humanity as the space station in “2001,” this game plays out with cold precision but little team spirit,” Keough wrote.

Of course, not everyone who writes movie reviews for a living thinks the Ender’s Game adaptation is a complete waste of time. Soren Anderson of the Seattle Times credits the movie’s success to the young and talented cast.

Anderson explained:

“[Asa Butterfield], with piercing gaze and singular intensity, brings novelist Orson Scott Card’s signature child hero to full and vivid life. Butterfield’s heartfelt, nuanced performance makes the audience appreciate the terrible weight placed on the slender shoulders of the deeply conflicted Ender by his unsparing adult trainers, particularly a high-ranking officer played by Harrison Ford in full curmudgeon mode.”

Although the adaptation has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 63 percent from critics, the audience score is presently perched at 77 percent. If you’re a fan of Card’s acclaimed sci-fi novel, the flick could be worth a look.

Do you plan to check out Ender’s Game in theaters this weekend?

[Image via Summit Entertainment]