Over all, this was a great movie. I was very pleased with it, as a just a causal watcher and as someone who read the book. I am usually very picky, but they did well. The visuals were awesome. They gave light to some of the more confusing scenes/aspects that were deeply sci-fy and brought a lot of the imagery to life.
It was a lot like the book, but there were the obvious difference as in any movie adaptation. They had to speed some things up and cut some things out, and even change a few small things get a message across quicker. It was a long and intricate book that needed to be conveyed in a feature film length time period. It left some of the depth and inner development out, but all in all it stayed very true to the book in spirit and accuracy.
The small things that were off were the friendships seemed too quick and the enemies too scarce in battle school. In the book it took a long time and some even hated him first before they were friends. And the Bonzo fight was a bit different In the book it was more strategic (Ender actually put the soap on himself for a reason), it took slightly longer, and it was more badass/devastating. Plus, he didn’t know right away that Bonzo was that badly injured and dying. But, again, that’s just a time issue and the idea was convey. Though, it was sped up, the scene was still the same as in the book overall.
A bigger issue and one of my only real issues is: the ending. Compared to the book it left something to be desired. It was a dramatic ending which was cool, but you didn’t get the full thing. I was aksed why he did something or what some of the things meant.
For example: **Spoiler** In the book the Queen actually talks to Ender, but it was the new queen and she did so thorugh the egg/cocoon. They converse and come to an understanding. I don’t want to give too much away, but they realize peace. It doesn’t seem to come through completely in the movie. They should have done a little more to convey that. And then he brings the egg somewhere.. it leaves it hanging. In the book he goes to another planet that they are colonizing and gets to govern it. His sister joins him. It is actually there that he finds the egg thing in a landscape made spcifically for him by the “buggers” as a message because they linked to his dreams and much later he brings the egg to another planet. The movie doesn’t tell you where he’s going or why he was just able to go. But, I get why they did it. Again, more of a time constraint and drama thing.
They did a good job showing the growth of Ender as a commander, though it was obviously more detailed int he book, and the actor was very good at personifying Ender. It was a great choice, though in my head he looked younger in the beginning.
The movie was great. My family liked it, I liked it. But there is so much more to the book (even a little side story with his sister and brother) and more insight. It is totally worth reading and this is worth watching each for their separate and consolidated reasons.