Okay, so I actually went to the late night showing of Ender’s Game on Halloween night. I was expecting to see full theaters and lots of buzz. I wasn’t expecting Twilight levels of enthusiasm but I was expecting that when we arrived at 10pm that we would be quite a ways back in the line. Instead, we were the first ones there. I looked at my best friend and the only thing we could come up with between the two of us was that due to the poor choice of premiere date, they theaters were just going to be slow for this one. We decided to see it on IMAX because it was epic space battles and seemed necessary for the subject matter being explored, so we paid the extra cash and the decided that since there were very few people there, we would get dinner.
We returned only a few minutes before the movie was going to start and were still able to get the exact seats we wanted (right in front of the metal bars so you can put your feet up without annoying the people in front of you). We sat through a ton of preview trailers (I swear they add more and more of those things every time I go to a movie). Then finally settled in for the feature presentation.
By the time the movie was over I felt somewhat vaguely satisfied but very much thinking exactly one thing. I wanted much more than there was. The movie was much shorter than it should have been. There was so much story that that simply glossed over or didn’t bother getting into at all. It felt incomplete and rushed. I think the most painful thing for me was not being able to seethe progression of the character develop in an even semi-logical way. Being a fan of the books and having read them numerous times, I know exactly how long Ender was at each stage of battle school and how many battles they fought. They left entire sequences that shaped who Ender was completely out of the equation and didn’t give enough cause to the issues that caused Bonzo to finally snap. Also, the fact that Bonzo didn’t die on that bathroom floor felt cheapened the depth of his eventual death and it’s impact on Ender seemed to make less sense. Overall, I felt that there was far too much action and so little character development that the story felt like a shadow of the original, paling to almost nothing in comparison to the impact of the books.
While it was definitely gratifying to finally see this movie hit the big screen, it almost felt like someone was trying to sabotage it from every having much success from the rushing the telling of the story to the poor choice of debut weekends. I feel like they could have done so much more and it would have been so much better and that will probably keep me form adding it to my shelves when it is all said and done.