Review: A Wrinkle In Time
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I never read A Wrinkle In Time, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from the movie. While the CGI is beautiful and there are one or two touching moments, I’ve had more fun talking with my grandparents about politics than watching this film. As a whole, A Wrinkle in Time has a cheesy story line filled with plot holes and boring self-righteous characters.
The basic plot is that four years after the disappearance of Meg Murry’s father (Chris Pine), Meg (Storm Reid); her younger brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe); and one of Meg’s friends, Calvin (Levi Miller), are approached by three mystical beings who give her the chance to find her father. The group travels across the galaxy to different planets without conflict in search of Meg’s father. Eventually, they learn that he is stuck on Camazotz, the home of the It, the source of all evil in the universe. Through a turn of nonsensical events, Meg reaches the center of Camazotz and is pitted against the embodiment of the It.
While the premise seems interesting, the story has more plot holes than a fine Swiss cheese and is just plain boring. A young teen, with no particular skills, is asked by some higher being to fight for some random cause that will save mankind. It’s just a cliche that I can find in 90 percent of books in the Young Adults section in any library.
As for the characters, they all have the same problems. They all start out boring, and to make things worse, they have virtually no character development. And if they do, it’s in the last five minutes of the movie. Meg, the protagonist, is obviously troubled by the loss of her father, but before I could even begin to develop any empathy for her, she’s throwing a dodge ball at a kid’s face for calling her younger brother crazy. Meg’s development is comparable to whenever you stay up until five in the morning to finish a project that’s due the next day. It’s half-baked and unenjoyable. Overall, Meg is just another cliche insecure middle schooler who just so happens to be the center of the main conflict.
Alright, I get it. The protagonist isn’t great, but how about the rest of the main cast? It only gets worse. Take one of Meg’s friends, Calvin from earlier. If you remove Calvin from the movie, nothing changes. Calvin provides no insight, no support, no anything to the story. All you’d lose are a few jokes that make you cringe and a voice that’s way too deep for a middle schooler. Or a character named Red played by Michael Peña. Red’s screen time lasts for around five minutes and his character is only added as a plot device that I only remembered after looking over the cast list.
Unfortunately, Calvin and Red are not the only characters that contribute nothing to the progression of the story. Take the three mystical beings I mentioned in the quick synopsis: Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon). If you exclude both Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit, the story hardly changes. The only ways both Which and Whatsit “move” along the story are by doing a shabby job at encouraging Meg.
One of the worst parts about this film is I can’t watch it and say that, sure, the characters and story weren’t great, but at least the actors were convincing. The only two characters who were enjoyable because of their acting were Meg’s parents: her father played by Chris Pine and her mother played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The problem is that, combined, they only have about 10 minutes of screen time total in a two-hour movie. The rest is stuffed with cheesy awkwardness or overplayed seriousness that made me question why I stayed for the entire run time of the movie.
The only saving grace of this movie is its CGI. The CGI and colors fit every scene and make the world of A Wrinkle in Time pop out. The locations the main cast visits are often quirky, fun and memorable. Without this, the movie’s only pro would be Chris Pine’s acting.
Overall, an absurd cast matched with an even worse story causes for a shoddy movie experience. While there are definitely ways to improve the film, I do not believe you can fix something that is already broken.