Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Happy Ending for ‘Ender’s Game’

Illustration by Lya Hernandez

When it comes to movies, I pride myself on being on top of what’s new and what’s coming out soon. This week, however, I lost track of the Hollywood hype regarding the release of the movie adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic young adult book from the 1980s, “Ender’s Game.” Naively, I went to see the movie and enjoyed it until I finally exited the Whitman Bubble and looked up some news surrounding the release.

I did a quick Google search to find out a little bit more about the book, the author and the movie. To my surprise, I discovered that the movie was being boycotted by several national organizations because of the homophobic views of the book’s author. Throughout the past 25 years or so, Card has publicly written and spoken about his views opposing same-sex marriage, even violently opposing same-sex relationships. I was appalled at Card’s backwards views and wondered if I should not have paid money to see the film. Regardless, I had seen the movie, so here’s a brief summary.

For those who haven’t read the “Ender’s Game” or the sequels, the story line is set in the distant future after buggers (aliens) tried to conquer Earth. The humans were able to fight off the six-legged buggers’ invasion but have been preparing for the next invasion ever since. In an attempt to stay ahead of the aliens, the humans create a space program and begin training kids and teenagers as commanders and fighters. The younguns think outside the box and are quick-thinking experts at war video games. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is selected by Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) to be the next brilliant commander against the aliens. Ender is a scrawny kid who gets picked on constantly. The two male leads are followed by a strong young female cast of characters, Abigail Breslin from “Little Miss Sunshine” and Viola Davis from “The Help.” Personally I enjoyed Harrison Ford’s performance as the hard-ass Colonel with his three facial expressions: thinking frown, mad frown and smirk.

I have to admit that I enjoyed the movie and especially liked the graphics. I’m not giving a glowing endorsement because, as with any film adaptation of a movie, if you’ve read the book you will have a better understanding of what is going on. Having never read the book, I was a bit confused at times, and the movie seemed rushed. It tried to squeeze in as much information as possible into too long of a film. Throughout the two-plus hour movie, I never felt like I was given a chance to sit back and pause to enjoy the graphics, which are often my favorite part of any sci-fi movie. If you have read the book, you’ll probably really enjoy the movie version, which reportedly stays fairly true to the book.

Now back to its homophobic author. After seeing the movie, I didn’t recognize any homophobic views. Should I have not seen the movie because I find the author’s views as repugnant? I think Harrison Ford said it best when he was asked if he knew about Card’s views.

“I am aware of his statements admitting that the question of gay marriage is a battle that he lost, and he admits that he lost it. I think we all know that we’ve all won. That humanity has won. And I think that’s the end of the story,” said Ford.

If the movie was propaganda promoting Card’s views, then obviously I would not pay money to see it. However, “Ender’s Game” was not made for promoting the author’s personal homophobic views, but rather for entertainment and money for the studio. I think “Ender’s Game” was a success; I enjoyed the movie! I liked the graphics, the scrawny kid ruling, Ben Kingsley’s tattoos and that classic Harrison Ford attempt at smiling.

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