I was going to write something clever to start this, but A Wrinkle in Time is getting effort they gave when naming their villain “The It.” This is a film where the good pieces are there, however, they’re put together to create a “meh” experience.
The story centers around Meg (Storm Reid) whose father was a physicist on the verge of a big discovery disappeared four years ago without a trace. One day Meg receives news her dad is alive, leading herself, her brother Charles Wallace and friend zoned buddy Calvin travel across the universe in search of him.
Quality actors come in and out of the run-time that helps to makes this watchable. The special effects are gorgeous and are really the star of the show here. They really pop making the most of every scene theirs in. I see this is where Disney ran off with the rest of the Black Panther CGI budget.
The Journey Could Have Used a Map
The film doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, moving through the beats pretty fast. The downside to this is that not enough development is really given to anyone or anything.
Characters just go from one place to the next and I’m left questioning why we just went there. It seems like sets were the priority and plot or even character development were dead last.
This journey is like going room to room of a fancy house with only furniture and dressing. Yes, it is nice to look at but not much substance without the people in it.
Negativity is message A Wrinkle in Time drives toward and how it destroys people and relationships. The actual conflict comes from how long the audience has to wait for something intriguing to happen. I held my bladder on the fear of missing when the film finally get good, which it never did except for sparse moments.
The first is real antagonist is introduced late into the fold only to vanish as quickly as they came. Then a second antagonist is pulled out of thin air, trying to showcase them as menacing, only to come off laughable.
Characters Barely Exist in A Wrinkle in Time
Meg’s self-loathing is apart of the story but makes it hard to root for her. She is bullied at school in the beginning and I feel bad for her, til I spent another 20 minutes with her and wanted to join in. She’s super negative and not in a dark yet funny Jessica Jones way, more like an angsty teenage gi- oh never mind they got this spot on.
Oprah Winfrey comes into the film and commands every scene she’s in as Mrs. Which. Towering over the other characters with her God-like powers and deep knowledge. She drives the narrative pushing our protagonists in the right direction.
She is accompanied by Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), who are two quirky guides that help the kids on their adventure. Who only speaks in quotes and Whatsit is blunt and there is nothing beyond that. That is the extent of their existence.
Alex Murry (Chris Pine) had the least amount of screen time but more depth than anyone else. He is an optimist in a world that doesn’t believe anymore and has a dark secret the movie grazes over for less interesting people.
There is no real tangible villain till the last third. The villain, “The It”, was basically a cloud-like Galactus from Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. It later takes on different forms with the last one being more underwhelming than school lunch.
Red (Micheal Pena) comes in as the most interesting character whose screen time was short and impactful. Dressed colorfully to head to toe with a presence that is hard to look away from. There is something his laid-back demeanor that if he were to steal from me, I couldn’t stay mad because he would be so chill about it.
A character that the same can’t be said for is Calvin. His purpose in the film is really questionable as he truly does nothing. He is off-screen for a while, brought back and I didn’t even notice he was gone. I almost thought he was a new character for a second before going “oh its that kid again.”
Cool Visuals and Effects Are Sprinkled Throughout
Shots in A Wrinkle in Time are often uncomfortably close hiding the gorgeous scenery. It’s uncomfortable to sit too close to a stranger on the bus, so being able to see all the actors and all their nostril flairs is plain haunting.
An amazing set piece was during a tornado that had my blood pumping with the destruction Meg and company were trying to escape. The ground is crumbling, everything is being thrown a hundred miles in every direction. This was the definitive highlight of the movie.
The costume and set design are the biggest assets as each item feels like it comes from another world. Once Earth is left, creativity gets to stretch for a bit as cool creatures and places are showcased. Although the locations visited are majestic, they don’t seem like have much life past the camera.
Not much time is spent building the places visited or any lore that might exist. This leaves the feeling of a shallow experience when the credits roll.
There are elements of a great story here hidden under the muddled mess. A big problem is the message is more important than the story. What happens between point A and B doesn’t matter as long as we understand the message at the end.
Some cool commentary can be found here about self-esteem but it’s hard to care about much as the narrative is too focused on showing the effects off over the plot.
A Wrinkle in Time is a little too generic to create a lasting impression. No memorable characters, scenes or even dialogue exist here to make watch this again.
Were you looking forward to watching this? Any flicks disappoint you lately? Leave your comments below!