And its best hope for a random tantrum, too!
Just the right mix of skills for a soldier! Keep the grown-ups safe at home, send the kids to work! This is what war would look like if it were made in China!
Best of all, children can live on a diet of JuicyJuice and Go-Gurt! I have always said if a soldier is old enough to brush his own teeth, he’s old enough to save his own planet.
Yes, everything changes except your voice in This Man’s Army.
Leave it to General Harrison Ford to spy on recruits via webcam and mope through countless scenes of juvenile psychoanalytic babble as young Ender complies like a rat in a cootie-free maze.
What is wrong with Harrison Ford? Is he a method mumbler? When did his lip get so lazy and set the tone for the rest of his performance? He looks less likely to chase aliens and more likely to chase those young whippersnappers off his lawn.
Fifty years have passed since aliens invaded Earth and had to be pushed back. Since then, Harrison has launched a military day care featuring zero-gravity laser-tag and endless opportunities for IMAX video games. “Young people integrate complex data more easily than adults,” says Harrison.
“They also more easily integrate Teen Mom on MTV,” say the jubilant aliens high-fiving each others’ antenna.
Pity poor Harrison Ford. In less than two generations, he has gone from “You’re all clear, kid. Now let’s blow this thing and go home” to “We need to clear up your skin, kid. Now let’s blow some bubbles and go on a play-date.”
What’s this idea of sending a bunch of kids into space? And why didn’t I think of this the last time I was in Wal-Mart?
Says Harrison: “Let’s see how Ender deals with defeat…Let’s see how Ender deals with frustration…Let’s see how Ender deals with a video game…Let’s see how Ender deals with the death of an Ewok in Star Wars Episode VI…Let’s see how Ender deals with binge viewings of The Real Housewives of Orange County…”
Hey, I’m in the audience waiting for something to happen here!
So Ender is transferred to Team Pinnochio where the kid in charge is about 4 feet tall with a nose about 4 feet long. Not surprisingly he has both a bad attitude and a nose for trouble and everything else in a four foot radius. Soon enough, Ender graduates to head his own team, a band of misfits several misfit toys short of an island.
“Ideas are welcome,” Ender tells his team.
“A stirring stick that seals a Starbucks cup!” says one cadet.
“How about ideas that are a bit more on point?” says Ender.
“A map to Ben Kingsley’s nose that’s tattooed right on his face?”
“Good one, consider it done!” says Ender.
And so the climactic battle begins!
“Aim that molecular disruption device at the enemy fleet, but for God’s sake don’t hit Ben Kingsley’s nose.”
“Should we fly it around Ben Kingsley’s nose?”
“We don’t have time, Man! Even at hyperspeed we’ll all be old and gray and maybe even 19 by the time it’s done!”
It’s at this point that Harrison Ford starts wearing a beret and, presumably, selling Girl Scout cookies.
“A box of Samoas for the first kid who obliterates the enemy planet and all life on it,” says Harrison.
“Add in some Thin Mints and I’ll captain the entire fleet for you,” says Ender, “and one day perhaps I’ll even be old enough to drive.”
After several scenes of frantic screaming and theatrical hand motions that pass for action, Ender’s Game reaches its all too welcome conclusion.
That’s when Ender becomes a tween Admiral. No, I’m not kidding.
And it’s when we learn the movie’s central lesson: Show kindness to those with fewer opposable thumbs than ourselves.
And save Ender’s Game for the sandbox.