End-er? What on earth is going on here?
Either Hollywood has gone completely off its trolley, or someone somewhere thinks that young kids have had their brains zapped by too many video games and will accept anything as long as it has big guns, boring grown ups, mega machines and teens in the ascendance. Plus CGI – natch!
The plot implodes from Scene One. Back in the day Earth was almost wiped out by an alien force, before being saved by a legendary hero who killed himself in a suicide attack into the body of the enemy’s mother ship.
Now a certain Col Graff (Harrison Ford, looking exhausted from the strain of being over 70) is searching for the next generation leader of the world’s armed forces before the aliens come back for second helpings.
He thinks he has found him in Ender Wiggin (Islington’s very own Asa Butterfield), a brainy weed with no physical attributes pertaining to superheros, or any hero for that matter.
Ender is sent to boot camp and secretly monitored by Graff, where he suffers the Full Metal Jacket treatment as well as bullying from a pint-sized fellow student. They play battle games that make quidditch look as simple as tiddly winks and simulate war of the worlds on massive screens.
Just when you think this cannot get any worse, Ben Kingsley – sorry, SIR Ben KIngsley – turns up with face tattoos and a NZ accent. He is supposed to be famous for something or other, military strategy probably, not that it makes any difference, since he doesn’t add anything.
The finale taps into Ender’s feminine side and Butterfield seems more comfortable with this rather than shouting orders from a podium like Adolf H in short trousers.