If you liked the movie and are easily offended by opinions, spoilers, and / or 'bad words' close out of this thread and read another one.
The following is just MY OPINION. If my opinion causes you to become butthurt, not my problem.
As an avid reader (mostly during mid-school) when I read Ender's Game, I loved it. It had characters that weren't carboard cut-outs, a plot that was enticing to read, and a multitude of bad-ass fights... Guess what the movie's lacking?
Lets break it down.
Don't get me wrong, the movie wasn't "OH MY GOD KILL THE DIRECTOR NAOW". I liked it. (now on with my sarcastic review)
- Cardboard Cutout Characters, No. It was worse. Failed abortions.
- The characters were literally like watching dead bodies move their lips. I've had more feels for essays I've printed out for my English class.
- Ender, for example, was given a basic backstory from the book. He wins fight, kiddie gets buttmad, Ender leaves. Next day, Ender's probe is taken out and kiddie comes back to fuck him up (Go read the book beginning). Any more backstory than this? No. Any personality development? I saw nearly nothing past the first few minutes (which was a poor excuse let alone). How about Ender's friendships and alliances with the fellow launchies and their adventures in the battle school? Not a single fucking minute of it. Literally nothing.
Launched -> 1 battle -> promote -> bonzo buttmad -> 2 minor battles -> OFF THE COMMAND SCHOOL!/
Where's the development? Where's the alliances with the fellow members of the school? Bean and him were presented to be friendly but NOTHING compared to the book.
You know how later in the book he goes bat-shit insane? Nope. Not here!
- Petra. Not as bad as an offender Ender. Joked at Bonzo like in the book, and dis-obeyed him and such. She trained Ender a bit, yada yada yada. Now, remember in Command School where she went mental after realizing they were commanding people? Cut. Nothing about it. Clueless as a vegetable.
- Bonzo. The only character that had personality literally died after 15 minutes of on-screen time. They didn't even mention Ender finding out later he died in the hospital.
- Bean. Bean had something there, but due the lack of screen-time as he would have had in the book, it felt like nothing. His friendship with Ender barely existed within the movie.
- Backstory: 10 mins
- (See Ender's backstory I mentioned)
- Pre-BattleSchool: 7 mins
- Commander points out Ender as being smart, Kid barfs, end of scene. None of the book's banter involved.
- Battle School: 30 mins
- Ender gets to battleschool. So far, ok. Oh, it's time for Ender to make a witty remakr to the cabin leader. > Commence witty comment
HORRAY! Something that was kept from the book!
- Practice battle went OK. They cut out most of the friendly talk between Ender and Bean, understandable in this circumstance.
- First battle: Lets make a formation! *forms* We won, yay! ( I know, books NEED to be descriptive so generally they're longer, but the battle school battles were... short. Really, really short. It was "Lets do that thing we planned, that we didn't mention on-screen!" thend "We did that thing we never explained on screen and it worked perfectly! Go team w00t"
- Dragon team had 2 battles in the movie... They had at least triple that in the book. The team-building and training that made the battle school an entertaining section of the book was all cut. After the two battles, "Ender u did so gud, we r promote u"
- Command School: 30 mins
- How the intro to CS went: "Welcome to battle school, we took this from the formx and thats that. Here's your room. "
- In the book they took time to explain the technology behind the 'simulations' and the 'ansible'... Again, guess what wasn't mentioned at all? If you guess 'Explanation of anything' you guessed right! Give youself a pat on the back!
- The Battles.
- The cinematics were BEAUTIFUL. The detail of the ships, buggers, and environment was top-notch. The early battles were short, but here in command school, they were a bit longer (finally).
- Ender's command (while the acting was bad) was easily the best part (excluding cinematics) of the movie. I got the "holy shit this is aweseome" goosebumps.
- Credits: 10 mins
In general, the movie wasn't as bad as I've probably made it out above. It's just how I talk/write.
- If you like fancy graphics, go watch the movie. You'll love it.
- If you liked the book, go watch it.
- If you LOVED the book and would be mad about missing details that had to be cut out due to movie length such as I was, then if you want to save yourself the disappointment, don't watch it. Or at least, wait for it to come out on netflix so you can watch it for cheaper than what movie theaters pay.
Ok, if you've made it down here you're either: A. Laughing, or B. Butthurt. Feel free to include A or B in your posts below.
Edit: Bullets look better in-editor. Blame text-formatting display.