"ENDER'S GAME" IS DEFINITELY OVER
Harrison Ford tells Asa Butterfield to straighten up and fly right.
On paper, the idea of Harry Potter in Outer Space sounds appealing. Visions of a gravity-free British boarding school with a faculty of caped alien academics definitely has some possibilities.
But the film version of Orson Scott Card's best-selling young adult fiction novel "Ender's Game" doesn't equal the opportunities. This movie featuring Harrison Ford as the grumpy headmaster at a military cadet training school orbiting Earth was a generation in the making, it has been said.
If that's true, the teams of writers and whatnot who failed over the decades to capture what made the book so popular still haven't found it.
All the super-digital computerized battles-in-outer-space blather have about as much weight on the IMAX screen as airy clouds on the feathery wings of restless winds. And that's the grand climactic battle, as well.
The first half of "Ender's Game" (rated PG-13) documents the superior skills of 12-year-old Ender Wiggins (Asa Butterfield) whose supreme confidence is often interpreted as arrogance by those around him jealous of his success.
What message this conveys to the present tweener generation is open to adult discussion, but the word "fascist" could be whispered now and then.
For those keeping score at home, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley do bring some weight to secondary roles. All the villains are animated insect-looking creatures which is another miscue. Without a vivid villain to defeat, the hero will never be very powerful.