Another weekend, another literary classic to be remade by the lovely folks in La La Land. The movie world continues to scrape deep for the next big fad, Disney brings A Wrinkle in Time to life, ready to unleash magic into the world. With super star Oprah Winfrey backing the project and a number of stars to further support the film, and potentially bring in the big bucks. Does it succeed, or should you just read the book? Robbie K here to provide some insight into the movies ad guide your experience. Let’s get started!
The Acting: With a star-studded cast, one hopes for brilliant performances and Wrinkle in Time has some impressive displays of the theater arts. Storm Reid’s career has started off well in this movie, a nice blend of passion fighting pessimism in a manner that feels very much like the whiney preteen age. Her fellow child actors are impressive, but the adult casts’ experience manages to shine forth. Oprah’s words re limited, but her regality comes across well in her performance. Mindy Kaling’s lines are a little more dynamic, again executed to be entertaining, and while wise, not the most engaging of characters. It’s actually Reese Witherspoon who was my favorite, bringing the most spunk, comedy, and character to the movie. Her chemistry with the cast was fantastic and her abilities certainly charmed much of the movie.
The Morals: Like the book, the movie has a fantastic repertoire of lessons to teach the young audience members targeted by the film. A Wrinkle in Time greatly praises the concept of hope, imbedding the driving, divine light of inspiring others to better themselves and motivate them to fight. It’s focus on utilizing the positive to combat the negative emotions is something this world could easily learn from, and even more so in the ability to accept one’s faults and praise one’s strengths. While a bit preachy in the dialog, the movie has those emotional moments to absolutely sell those life lessons and perhaps promote the next great person for them to endorse. Still, use this movie as a means to educate those in the way of values of self-worth.
The Visuals: What can I say, the best part of this movie is the fantastic world building is the world building this movie brought to the silver screen. A Wrinkle in Time’s selling point is how beautiful the art department made all their characters and settings. While the realistic Earth scenes are a cavalcade of traditional settings, the real majesty comes when our heroes begin to bend reality. First the costumes of the misses are incredible, as their personalities erupt to life on each planet they visit. Makeup and costume blend together perfectly, truly bringing out the beauty of each entity and reflecting their personal view of each world. And once the costumes are recognized, the creation of the dimensional galaxy gets even better. My favorite planet is the Flower planet (as advertised on the trailers) as it blended all the color and visual stunning goodness into one area. However, there are plenty of other things hidden in behind the trailers to be impressed with.
The Story: It starts off so strong, but soon the plot takes a major hit in quality because of how rushed it feels. Once the traveling begins, the movie’s plot hits a major break and takes a mighty plunged into rushed territory. Character development, major plot hits, even the mighty antagonist were all kind of bland in this movie, never reaching the full steam past girl power junction. Why such a literature classic could not build up steam I don’t know, but sadly this movie didn’t quite have all it took to be exciting.
A bit annoying: The movie has plenty of cute, kid friendly gimmicks, but my word does it crush over into some rather annoying things. The most annoying for me was how often they repeat the name Charles Wallace, a not only obnoxious name, but an obnoxious calling that was used every five seconds. As picky as this sounds, I quickly got annoyed at how lackluster the name was and how it was used unnecessarily in every context. Better luck next time in dialog adaptation guys, perhaps next time you’ll learn how to substitute a name with better descriptions.
The Simplistic Journey: You might be thinking Disney would pour their hearts into making an interdimensional journey with some style, class and flare their studios can brings. Sadly, the movie itself still seems to fail in this department for me. Three worlds make up the entire leg of the journey and while they each have some magic of their own it didn’t feel like quite a detective journey. So many worlds were reduced to a blurry montage that lasted less than a minute depriving me of a scavenger hunt in order to fit into the two-hour runtime package. With their studio they could have much better on this aspect to extend the mystery, perhaps adding their own leeway and integration of cosmic powers to uncover the clues to finding dear old dad. Nope, again the movie is just a sad, sad display of tempting visuals and rushed plot.
The Anticlimactic End: Again, there is buildup up to how deadly the darkness is and how it will be hunting for our heroes at every turn. So maybe you might hope that the big, bad, black void had some actual tricks up its sleeve to hinder the young warriors’ journey. Again, the movie has little exciting climax to act as an impasse, a few emotional shadows and musical sores to try to illicit a response. However, there is little threat behind the darkness void, which symbolic as it can be is a boring end to what was supposed to be a crossing of the universe. Sorry, but I expect my shadows to have a little more bite and might when they threaten to plague the universe. The result is a cute, but rather dull finale to one of the most epic tales of the literature adapted world.
Wrinkle in Time feels like a child’s version of Annihilation, but without the unique and twists the genre could really have used. It certainly isn’t awful as some may say, with good acting and world building to bring forth an emotional telling of valuable ethics and morals. Yet, the movie does not meet the expectations placed by the book, for the story has been watered down into a hokey, gimmick filled manhunt that failed to reach its full potential. Perhaps the director’s cut will go into more details with the abandoned worlds, but I doubt extra time will be able to bring the full might this movie needed to match the literary work. Not the worst movie to grace the theater, but outside of visuals and some acting, I think this one can be held until home viewing.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 5.5