What’s more, as anyone who’s seen the movie can attest, some of the most stunning moments (no pun intended) are the ones that take place in the Battle Room. These elaborately staged simulations of a zero gravity environment where Ender and Company compete in a game of military strategy are exactly the kind of thing that would have been just about impossible a decade ago.
In fact, even with some of the same effects wizards used by James Cameron on “Avatar,” two entirely new rig technologies had to be invented for “Ender’s Game” in order to capture the effect of weightlessness, according to slashfilm.com. The film's young stars then trained for a full month with members of Cirque du Soleil to learn how to use them.
Finally, even with all the flash and spectacle afforded a studio tent pole like this, none of it would have mattered without the right cast. As many reviews have noted, Asa Butterfield (“Hugo”) delivers a standout performance — at once calculating and sympathetic. It’s that more than anything that allows the movie to come together without losing the emotional complexities of its source material.
How “Ender’s Game” will ultimately fare at the box office is still a mystery. But fans can be happy knowing that this adaptation goes far beyond what most could have expected in remaining true to the spirit of the novel.
A native of Utah Valley and a devoted cinephile, Jeff Peterson is currently studying humanities and history at Brigham Young University.
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