Ender's game is a smart sci-fi film, exploring the journey of the eponymous Ender as he is chosen as a candidate for Battle School, a space station where humanity is training a new generation of soldiers and generals to fight in a Bug War
, having been inspired by a hero who rammed his jet plane into an alien spaceship and won a battle (somehow). Simple.
The special effects are good. The zero-gravity fights scenes are spectacularly immersive, and the characterization is generally well done. The acting is taken seriously, even among the children, and the premise was original and interesting.
It was a good film overall, but what makes me unwanting to see it again are two plot holes and a Pet Peeve Trope
. The PPT is Mary Tzu
. Ender always dishes out a Curb-Stomp Battle
with his team of underdogs, even when outnumbered 2-1 by an experienced and skilled enemy that has set up good defensive positions.
First, how does the famous person lead to the Battle School program? The line of logic the film presents is "Man's suicide attack in an airplane is successful" equals "a kid will become a military genius and lead us to victory, and we will train him through zero gravity laser tag". Maybe the book explains it, but there seems to be some steps missing. Also, why a kid (especially when the famous hero was an adult)? Why laser tag (see below)? Why put all your faith in a single, new commander when you have a committee of seasoned veterans already at your disposal? You're telling me that a teenager with natural talent is a better choice than people who have dedicated their lives to waging war?
Second, how does the Battle School program actually work? You train your army and commanders with laser tag (as opposed to study of past battles or practicing maneuvers with thousands of soldiers and vehicles)? Granted, there are probably other things, but from what we see
, the Battle School lives up to its initials. I know Ender is a genius in that arena as previously mentioned, but what would Ender do without the OP Wave Motion Gun
he had in the climax? Ender's victories in the arena rely on, say it with me, cheap tactics. Ender's victories outside the arena are just protecting a superweapon until it recharges. Napoleon and Grant were real military geniuses; no battle of theirs was won by turtling around a Game Breaker
until it was ready to fire.