Asa Butterfield is 12-year-old genius Ender Wiggin who is plucked from his family to be turned into a military commander aboard an orbiting space station.
With Earth under threat from insect-like aliens, will the young whippersnapper prove to have the right stuff to ensure humanity survives?
Writer-director Gavin Hood packs some interesting – and chilling – ideas into his adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s bestseller.
However, observing Ender honing his strategic skills by playing laser-tag in zero gravity proves far from gripping and when he graduates to computer-simulated battles, we’re effectively watching someone else play video games.
Still, a scowling Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley’s facial tattoos and wonky New Zealand accent provide amusing diversions.