Let’s be honest, the latest film from Gavin Hood, X-MEN ORIGINS : WOLVERINE, was a failure full. So why go and see his new creation, THE STRATEGY that ENDER, of which he also wrote the script ? By lack of interest in the dramas of French came out the same week ? Out of a desire to see a new blockbuster, frozen in a universe SF ? Or perhaps simply by a desire to see if, after HUGO CABRET, the young Asa Butterfield can move us again ? Coming out of the cinema, the answer matters little, as another question arises naturally : what is really THE STRATEGY ENDER ?
Umpteenth adaptation of a novel of science-fiction, STRATEGY ENDER could have been a bad joke, a waste of time on a film that we wish we had seen just after the session. But it is not. Of course, the pitch has nothing new : the Earth has suffered an alien invasion and decides to prepare for the next in the enlisting of young adolescents in a program of war in space. Among these young people, a boy seems to be the Chosen one, the one who will be fit to lead the international fleet to victory. In short, we agree, nothing really new. But this may not be the worse for it. Unlike so many other movies that are great for fight scenes, even putting aside the psychology of the characters, the director, Gavin Hood, as well as the author of the original novel Orson Scott Card, is placed against the current. Before we even know if victory is possible, we must learn to know and to understand Ender, the famous Elected.
Thus, the first part of the film, which finally matches the first time, is interested in the psychology of the young boy. Who is he ? How does he live ? What does he think ? How is it perceived by others ? Anything goes. And surprisingly, this is not a problem. The beginning is slow, sometimes a little winded, but he deserved to be clear. Thing necessary because of the personality complex of Ender. Teenager angry, he refuses any form of authority, but tends to be respected by his peers. Little easier to explain on the screen, it is here that major Anderson (Viola Davis) and colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) is a utility that is undeniable. Their jousting verbal are more than enlightening. But after the theory, up to practice.
Without revolutionizing the genre, THE STRATEGY ENDER is in entertainment, photography impeccable, and the impressive cast, which does not merit any follow-up.
In its second part, THE STRATEGY ENDER showcases the training that will follow the young recruits. Their daily life is being shown to us and, in sequence after sequence, Ender is more or less naturally as a true leader. Of disobedience by insubordinations, we end up necessarily by us to attach to the boy. Cheeky, cocky and a tad annoying, Ender is a hyperbole of what we were or what we would have wanted to be a few years ago. Although trained to conduct a war, Ender remains a pacifist, relentlessly seeking to understand who he is, what is expected of him and what is the enemy supposed to. In brief, Ender is human, abnormally human. The final attack, not announced because hidden behind yet another simulation, pleases as much as it disappoints. Obviously impressive, it has a bad taste because, not having seen it coming, we don’t appreciate to its fair value.
Driven by Cirque du Soleil artists, the band of young actors is doing well in the fight scenes. Led by Asa Butterfield touching, endearing, and incredibly fair, it turns out to be very nice. The valves come together, fly, and grow to a certain nostalgia. While we had been a bit forgotten since the strange COWBOYS AND INVADERS, Harrison Ford signs here a comeback as coach of the young generation. Because of the importance given to Ender, it is a shame that his character was not more developed, more complex and less rigid.
But the real problem of the film finally remains in his aesthetic. Too clean, too refined, too cold. Seeing THE STRATEGY ENDER, how not to think about all this white stuff already surprésent in OBLIVION ? This opposition between the inside and the wild and dangerous as the one depicted in AFTER EARTH ? Or even to the space station Elysium in the film of the same name ? As for the scenes of simulation, the comparison with MINORITY REPORT is inevitable. Because of its subject matter (the protection of Earth) and its aesthetic qualities, THE STRATEGY ENDER is ink all alone in a lineage of films that would be better avoided, because already too much similar between them. But fortunately for Gavin Hood, the reversal in the policy of its end makes us (almost) forget this aspect of the film. Linking subtle with timely topics such as genocide (well, yes ! It is the enemy or us !), the instrumentalisation of the child and the drone attacks, the film makes you think as much as it entertains. Without revolutionizing the genre, THE STRATEGY ENDER is in good entertainment, to the beautiful photography and impressive cast, which does not merit any follow-up.
In the near future, a species of hostile alien, the Doryphores, have attacked the Earth. Without the heroism of Mazer Rackham, the commander of the International Fleet, the battle would have been lost. Since then, the highly respected colonel Graff and the military forces of earth lead the best young minds to train officers emeritus, and find in their ranks one who can counter the next attack. Ender Wiggin, a shy boy, but has an outstanding tactical intelligence, is selected to join the elite. At the academy, Ender quickly learns to master of military maneuvers increasingly difficult when his sense of strategy is wonderful. Graff does not take long to consider it as the best element and the greatest hope of humanity. It lacks just be formed by Mazer Rackham himself, to be able to control the Fleet during a homeric battle that will decide the fate of the Earth.
• Original title : Ender”s Game
• Achievement : Gavin Hood
• Screenplay : Gavin Hood
• Main actors : Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley
• Country of origin : United States
• Output : 6 November 2013
• Duration : 1h54
• Distributor : Metropolitan FilmExport
• Trailer :
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