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Last weekend I went to see Ender's Game with Wil. He really liked the book and wanted to see the movie. I've never read the book, but I really enjoyed the movie, right up until the end. And because the movie has a bit of a twist in the end, I'm not going to actually talk about that -- mostly because I really LIKED the twist. I thought it was the only way that the plot could have gone. And it was a wonderful thematic statement that was made.

What I didn't like was the denouement -- you know "the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved". What didn't I like about it? I didn't like the fact that it didn't happen. The was no denouement. In fact, in that part, that part when you expect the emotional and philosophical resonance of the movie to crystalize -- it actually tossed in new stuff. Stuff that wasn't supported by the rest of the movie and, worse, stuff that really had nothing to do with resolving the emotional or thematic story arc.

What really gets me is that it would have been so easy to do. It's told from Ender's point of view, we even get a voice over from Ender at the end of the film. There was ample time to actually give the audience a denouement. But they didn't.

And it really left me frustrated with with movie. A movie that I really liked up to that point. A movie that had some really nice philosophical arguments built into. In fact, there was a very plain theme that was touched on several times in the movie. There was a perfect opportunity for the writer to deal with that theme at the end. But they didn't. They didn't address it at all. They mentioned it, but they didn't address it. The climax had some very serious ramifications for all those involved -- not just Ender, but his friends as well. But none of that was touched on. Hell, none of that was even addressed in any way.

And then there was a quote. It doesn't matter what the was, it just matters that it was used in the beginning of the movie. Flashed up on the screen. Obviously it was important and we, the audience, were to keep it in mind. Then it was used again halfway through the movie. In fact, at the point Ender himself uses the quote. The quote was extremely topical and it mirrors exactly what Ender is feeling, what he is doing. And then? It was never mentioned again. And it could have been. It could have been used to explain the why of Ender's actions at the end. It should have been used to explain the why of what Ender does at the end of the movie. But it wasn't.

You know, I could deal with having to make my own denouement. Because through the repetition of the theme and the repetition of the quote I could have figured out what was happening. That would have especially made sense if Ender himself didn't know what or how he felt about everything. He goes off, not really understanding what drives him, leaving us, the audience -- wiser than he is -- but empathizing with his plight.

Except they didn't do that, either. In fact, then they throw in a new and unsupported idea, a giant deus ex machina that's never explained or even commented on. At the very end of the movie, they suddenly added this new idea that was never mentioned before. I suppose, if you are dropping the two themes that were the central idea to the story in the first part you need to replace it with something, but... but it made no sense.

More than that it leaves me slightly pissed off. I'm a smart movie-goer. More than that, I'm an enthusiastic movie-goer -- by that I mean, I want to like the movies, I'm willing to buy into the world you give me and I'm more than willing to suspend disbelief. All I ask for is consistency -- in character and in theme. This movie didn't do that.

It gave me with wonderful build up and a movie I really enjoyed. Then, in the final 10 minutes, they took that all away. It's weird, but I really miss the movie that it could have been, the movie it almost was. It upsets me that they had to throw this new idea in as if the audience wasn't going to be smart enough to understand the theme and arguments that were already set up. Or, maybe, that they would interpret them wrong.

Tomorrow I get to see Thor. I'm hoping that it's a better experience. Oh -- and Wil and I also was Rush. I have good things to say about that movie that should go in a later post.

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