Originally Posted by ADU
I wasn't really planning to give Ender's Game a look. I thought that movie was supposed to be sort of a big deal when it came out. And then it seemed to fizzle. But based on some of the comments here, I think I might give it a try.
Ender's Game is complicated. The book is very good, excellent even. It's rightly an SF classic. Unfortunately, the author turned out to be a total piece of garbage human being in his later years, which makes a lot of people (myself included) not want to support anything that puts money in his pocket. But the book was written before he went schizo and none of his current hateful views are reflected in it.
When the movie went into production, a number of groups protested it over Orson Scott Card, who was listed as Executive Producer. The filmmakers tried to distance themselves from him and claimed that the credit was basically just honorary and he had no involvement with the scripting or filming. Still, he got paid a lot of money for the rights.
As an adaptation of the book, the movie itself is... fine. It hits most of the plot points. It's well made. The performances and the VFX are good. But something about it falls a little flat.
The movie aged-up most of the characters, who were between 6-12 in the book but are teenagers in the film. That was mostly done for practical necessity. The book includes a lot of violence performed both to and by children, which would be very difficult to sell convincingly with child actors, get past a ratings board, or appeal to audiences. However, by making Ender a teenager, the movie misses a lot of the point of the story, which is that the children are being indoctrinated and exploited by the government and military before they hit an age where they’re capable of making decisions for themselves. That’s a major theme of the novel and it's mostly lost in the movie.