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Tom Huddleston’s “Ender’s Game (12A)” Is Short and Nasty, Just Like Ender

In response to Tom Huddleston’s 158‑word review of Ender’s Game on Time Out

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There is an art to crazy-short movie reviews. Tom Huddleston’s “Ender’s Game (12A)” touches on some of this art, without really succeeding.

After being assaulted by pop-ups and subscription data from a site that should know better, Huddleston situates the film within the broader context of recent box office mixed-bags like “Watchmen” and “John Carter” (though, like a bad reviewer, he’s wrong about each film being a flop, and gladhands non-geeks when he lays their accused flopdom on rich people listening to nerds who like to, I suppose, read). By using bad math and crazy logic, he stacks the deck to make Game (12A) sound like the final step in a long devised plan to destroy Hollywood.

Amazingly, the review spins into a pleasant account of the weird and strange film it’s reviewing instead of becoming a hate-fest. This is part of the art of the short reviews. Apparently, though, when the plot starts to happen, the movie crumbles. So, by Huddleston’s logic, it should have stuck to what it was best at: set design and special effects. All of this makes Game (12A) somewhat hypocritical, as these are the shallow elements geeks savor (or so Buzzfeed would have the world believe).

Honesty is a key to reviews, and half-truths the death of the art. Huddleston’s review ends with a honest note about the film’s compelling nature, in spite of itself. If there weren’t so many distracting, and questionable, asides in so short a work, it might have actually worked.    

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