Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Movie Review: A Wrinkle in Time

"A Wrinkle in Time" has some genuinely touching moments and life lessons throughout its runtime. However, they're hijacked by too much new age hippy-dippy mumbo jumbo and metaphysical chattering that any normal child under the age of 13 just isn't going to grasp. It gets to a point after hearing so many inspirational mantras out of Mindy Kalling's character that you begin to feel as if you're trapped in the service of some Universalist Church cult.

Meg Murry and her little brother, Charles Wallace, have been without their scientist father, Mr. Murry, for five years, ever since he discovered a new planet and used the concept known as a tesseract to travel there. Joined by Meg's classmate Calvin O'Keefe and guided by the three mysterious astral travelers known as Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the children brave a dangerous journey to a planet that possesses all of the evil in the universe in A Wrinkle in Time.

I sincerely doubt the "target audience" is going to be patient enough to get through A Wrinkle in Time. My son is a science whiz kid (he wears an "I Love Science" t-shirt and means it) and he was getting antsy after about 45 minutes. Imagine The Wizard of Oz if it were paced like Blade Runner 2049 or 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Let's just say the Video Game Generation of kids are going to have a tough time sitting through A Wrinkle in Time. As a matter of fact, I can just imagine them all sitting in the theater playing a game on their parent's cell phone to pass the time.

There are moments when A Wrinkle in Time feels like what I would imagine an acid trip while watching Fantasia 2000 that went horribly wrong would. That's not to say that the environmental graphics and special effects look bad at all. They just seem to be way overpowering at times yet still underwhelming somehow. When we do get a glimpse at an actual lifeform or space creature, it looks like something out of the animated movie Epic... and that's not meant to be a compliment.

Much of the acting in A Wrinkle in Time is up to par and effective. There are moments when things get a bit shaky, especially when Charles Wallace is possessed by IT. Oprah Winfrey plays the godlike Mrs. Which and spends most of her time onscreen offering tidbits of advice and existential wisdom to our young travelers, much like she does in real life. The only thing scarier than a normal-sized Oprah offering her guidance to us is a gigantic Oprah doing that.

A Wrinkle in Time was directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay written by Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell. It stars Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kalling, and Chris Pine. The movie runs 109 minutes.

A Wrinkle in Time is rated PG for thematic elements and some peril. It contains violence and frightening and intense scenes. Most of the scary stuff takes place when we meet IT.

Rating: 5 / 10 stars

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