In Ender’s Game future civilisation is in the power of small kids with agile brains. “We need a Julius Caesar, a Napoleon,” growls Harrison Ford, lord of the cosmic battle school. He picks barely teenaged Ender Wiggins (Asa Butterfield), a gaming prodigy, who will help humanity defeat the enemy planet inhabited by giant ants.
Gavin Hood’s film is as windily solemn as the theme is, or could be, bewitchingly topical. (Not just the ascent of brainy teens, but insects as tomorrow’s odds-on survivor species.) Space battles and supersized bugs apart, the movie is mammoth talk sessions in mammoth sets, written and directed by the man who followed the promising Tsotsi with the ponderous Rendition and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.