There's nothing wrong in the setup: It worked fine in films like "Adventures in Babysitting" and "Uncle Buck." But director David Gordon Green populates the movie with so many soap opera asides it's hard to keep count.
Most Ender's fans, of course, won't care about comparisons and consider the film adaptation a long-awaited victory in itself. Those fresh to the tale — or at least expecting something fresh from it — may wonder what the fuss was about.
What snookered Slater (not to mention Donald Sutherland) into this film is a wonder, because there's not a genuine bone in it. Think the Bourne franchise meets the Bond franchise, without the wit or action.