Image from The Atlantic
BY JONATHAN MYERS
“A Wrinkle in Time” is a visually stunning spectacle of colors and effects that could only be a better film if the audio in the theater cut out after the first fifteen minutes of the film and did not come back on until the credits rolled.
Directed by “Selma’s” Ava DuVernay and based on the acclaimed 1962 novel by Madeleine L’Engle, this movie fails to meet the basic requirements every film should possesses .
It lacks grounded characters, solid performances and relevant exposition. It constantly throws locations and characters at the audience with little to no explanation as to who they are, where they come from and why they are here. For a science fiction film, the lack of explanation is a real problem.
Four years prior to the events of the film, the protagonists’ father, Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine), went missing trying to discover the universe. Meg (Storm Reid) and her younger brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), are both constantly picked on by their peers at school about their missing parent and they are often misunderstood by their teachers.
The film starts off strong with a surprise twist on the Disney logo and a touching introduction to the characters, but immediately derails once Mrs. Whatsit (Reece Witherspoon) is introduced.
Mrs. Whatsit is the first of the “Misses” characters. She is new to earth and interacting with humans, so she often comes off as quirky and rude. Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), is the second Misses to be introduced. It is very briefly explained that she does not always know what to say, so she quotes other people. The Final Misses character Mrs. Which, (Oprah Winfrey) is the leader of the group and is very large for a portion of the film because she transported to earth incorrectly.
It is never explained or even hinted at in the film where the Misses come from and who they are. None of the actresses who portray these characters are convincing in the least, and everything they say is laughably forced.
“A Wrinkle in Time”, to its credit, has some very cool cinematography. In addition to that, while the special effects are not by any means spectacular for a Disney film, it is a very colorful and striking film to see. Chris Pine is also very good in this movie and his connection to his kids is very believable.
Unfortunately, those are the only positives about this movie. The acting and dialogue in this film will make most people squirm in their seat. Every line written and delivered by Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller) are like nails on a chalk board. If someone is going into this movie a fan of the book, they are going to be thoroughly disappointed.
Based on its $45 million at the box office and its $100 million budget it seems like word of mouth caught on and Disney will not be making its money back from this film. Thank goodness Disney has “The Avengers: Infinity War” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” in the next few months.
The Flyers gives “A Wrinkle in Time a” 3/10.