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|Genre:||Sci-Fi, Adventure, Drama|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 114 Min|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
1985] Orson Scott Card published the novel "The Big Game", which quickly became a modern classic of science fiction literature and one of the 100 best books for teenagers and young adults. Although its subject matter is not undisputed, the novel and its sequels still enjoy enormous popularity today. And so, of course, it was only a matter of time before this popular work would also be adapted for cinema. With Gavin Hood ("Wolverine", "Tsotsi") a director was engaged who was believed to do justice to the spirit of the original and at the same time to be able to offer the viewer entertaining science fiction entertainment with high show values.
"Ender`s Game - The Big Game" tells the story of twelve-year-old Andrew "Ender" Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), who grows up in a world that still suffers fifty years after a devastating alien attack and the fear that such an attack could repeat itself. To prevent this, an international military alliance is looking for the appropriate military genius to lead a devastating pre-emptive strike against the Formics. Potential candidates are recruited from an early age and must undergo an extremely hard physical and psychological training to prove their strategic skills and resilience. After Ender's siblings had already been unable to withstand this training, Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) is firmly convinced that he has found the perfect candidate in the boy. And indeed, Ender reveals astonishing skill in the combat simulator and can also successfully defend himself against unsympathetic recruits of the academy. But whether a little boy is really willing to protect humanity from the alien threat forever, can still be doubted despite all his talents…
It is easy to assume military propaganda, glorification of violence and moral doubt in "Ender`s Game - The Great Game". Finally, it is about children who are formed into small fighting machines with military drill and humiliations, it is about the manipulation of the childish spirit and about the justification of genocide. All this is true when you simply consume the story - whether in the novel or in the film adaptation - without digging any deeper and recognizing exactly the nuances that reveal that all that the film seems to be is ultimately very clearly condemned. Of course, Hood could have made his script a bit more obvious, so that he couldn't have been accused at all of propagating the use of child soldiers in his movie. But even a science fiction film can demand from its audience that they think a little and question what is shown far enough.
Besides these rather drastic criticisms that the book adaptation has to face, there are of course also the usual aspects such as a certain predictability of the plot, the actors' play or the drawing of the characters. There will be many spectators for whom "Ender`s Game - Das große Spiel" is simply boring, because the story does not really bring much new and instead of big space battles the hard education of the children is in the foreground. If you expect to get non-stop action here, you'll be bitterly disappointed. And this disappointment inevitably leads to the fact that you don't care about the characters, that they seem superficial and that the actors' play seems powerless and unconvincing.
But those who expect a story that focuses on the development of the inconspicuous Ender into a military genius will see that Asa Butterfield ("Hugo Cabret") delivers a really convincing performance that makes it clear towards the end that Ender is not an ice-cold soldier, but always a child for whom cruel reality is simply a game for a long time - until he realizes the consequences of his unique talent.
For the adaptation Gavin Hood has taken some great liberties. The storyline of the book, which plays on Earth and focuses on Ender's siblings, has been completely deleted. Also, the training does not take several years, as in the film, but only a few months. Although such changes make the story seem more superficial than the novel, the decision to have Ender embodied only by a young actor is an absolute advantage for the film. In addition there are some really great visual effects, which make "Ender`s Game - Das große Spiel" a visual treat.
So if you can be satisfied with only a few action sequences and if you manage to look under the surface of the story, this bestselling movie will offer you great science fiction cinema. And for these viewers the following also applies: absolutely worth seeing!
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