How "Ender's Game" Stacks Up to Other Recent Action Films

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70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion. Starring Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis & Hailee Steinfeld.
Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment
November 11th, 2013

How "Ender's Game" Stacks Up to Other Recent Action Films

"Ender's Game" is a recently released film based on a novel of the same name by legendary science fiction author Orson Scott Card. Card's novel is beloved by millions of science fiction fans around the world, and for good reason. The film brings to life the vividly described world of Card's novel, the first in a series of riveting books that get progressively more intense. The film follows Ender Wiggin, its titular character, as he is chosen by the International Military of Earth to save the world from destruction by a superior alien species. Ender happens to be a reclusive genius who comes from a normal family, but he just might have what it takes to save humanity from total extinction.

Ender is taken away from his younger sister and older brother and forced to attend a specialized school designed to train young warriors. Ender is slowly but surely molded into a ruthless killer who is capable of doing things he never thought possible. As the film progresses, Ender makes new friends and enemies and is faced with the realization that he has become someone entirely different from what he always imagined.

"Ender's Game" may be the first movie adaptation of the series, but it already has the makings of a classic. Fans are understandably excited about seeing such a beloved science fiction novel on the big screen, and director Gavin Hood has more than satisfied them, but how does "Ender's Game" stack up compared to other recent action films? "Elysium" is a contemporary action and science fiction film that draws heavily on the theme of an unlikely hero chosen to save humanity. Unlike Ender, Elysium's main hero is forced to defend the people of Earth against an exclusivist government that closely guards a safe haven in the sky. The beautiful Elysium space station is home to humanity's elite, and the people who live there are pampered day in and day out with luxurious spa treatments, instant cures to disease and injury, and all the luxury food they desire.

"Elysium" draws strong parallels to modern political controversy, making it a rival for the political relevance found in "Ender's Game." Both films are highly political and are driven by speculative technology and strong heroes. "Ender's Game" and "Elysium" both offer stellar special effects and novel storylines, but "Ender's Game" may be the winner when it comes to solid acting and the promise of great future films. While "Elysium" could easily stand alone, "Ender's Game" draws audiences into the next installment, which is the main goal for most action films.

"R.I.P.D." is another recent action film that "Ender's Game" has been compared to. Both films offer absurdly realistic CGI and innovative plots, but "R.I.P.D." has a much more comedic feel. "R.I.P.D." has met with mixed critical reviews in spite of its initial success at the box office, but it has still managed to deliver plenty of laughs in the same vein as the popular "Men in Black" franchise. While "R.I.P.D." more than satisfies audiences as a fun and lighthearted blockbuster comedy, "Ender's Game" is the winner in terms of overall quality. From the riveting performances by its fresh cast to the flawless writing and breathtaking cinematography, "Ender's Game" offers an epic feel and an atmosphere that just can't be rivaled by the standard summer action movie.

Perhaps the most captivating element of "Ender's Game" lies in Ender's internal struggle to maintain his humanity while developing the ruthlessness necessary to save it. In becoming a hero, he risks losing the very things that make life worth living. The backdrop of political intrigue is taken to an intergalactic scale in this riveting action thriller. From start to finish, it doesn't have a single dull moment, making "Ender's Game" one of the most gripping action films in recent history. In fact, the film transcends its genre, coming off as more of a visual and storytelling masterpiece than anything else. Fans of the book series will respect the way that director Hood managed to keep all the flavor of the original novel while putting a very modern visual spin on the work. Whether you're a fan of the science fiction genre and have read all of Orson Scott Card's books or you simply love a great action movie, "Ender's Game" is one action film you won't want to miss. From visuals to storytelling, the film excels in everything that makes the viewing experience great, blowing away the competition in the action movie genre.