Friday, March 16, 2018

Movie Review: A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) directed by Ava DuVernay

Meg should be the envy of everyone at school. She has a cute little brother named Charles Wallace. Her parents are highly capable scientists. Unfortunately, her dad is too capable and vanishes without a trace while trying to develop a way to travel across the universe with the right harmony and the power of the mind. He's been gone for four years and the family quirkiness is not endearing to her fellow students. Meg is the classic nerd outcast at school. Her cute little brother sticks up for her but he is also precocious and off-putting to his classmates and his teachers. He'll befriend just about anyone and he brings a kooky lady home one night. Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) is a bit New Agey and mysterious, promising adventures and a chance to find their dad. Soon enough, weird stuff starts happening. Meg, Charles Wallace, and male classmate Calvin start traveling to other planets guided by a trio of Mrs.'s who want to find the dad to help fight a spreading darkness in the universe known as "The It" based on the planet Camazotz.

If this summary seems a bit wacky and disjointed, then I have successfully presented the storyline of this movie. The story moves along with a lot of incoherent (or maybe just shifting) rules. Even by the end of the film, some things still make little sense. The conclusion where everything comes out okay is a little forced and the theme of "believe in yourself and you can do anything" has been done to death in kids' movies. A hackneyed theme is fine if the characters are well-written and well-performed but that's not the case here. The script is more to blame than the actors. A good story can carry an overused theme but again, the script fails the film. The visuals are creative and amazing but special effects are not enough to carry a movie for me.

I haven't read the book, though talking with friends it's either amazing or a bit muddled (probably a combination of both). Scanning through some reviews after seeing the movie, I see the movie makers didn't stick to the story of the book. I probably will read it at some point (we have it on our shelves), but this movie is no inspiration.

Not recommended.

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