Search This Blog

March 19, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) --- "Not Much Better Than The Last One But At Least It's More Colorful."

Plot Summary
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. (1)

Subscribe to my blog via email HERE and share with your friends. 
Hello, Movie Buffs! 
       Although I have not read the book by Madeleine L’Engle, I have seen the original 2003 TV movie A Wrinkle I Time and while it was good I was not overly impressed by it. This time, after seeing the trailers, I went into this film with high expectations because of the colorful visual effects and the chance to see some of my favorite actors on screen but I am sorry to say that my expectations were not fully met. This film missed some big opportunities for comedic moments, the story was a bit disjointed, and a couple characters were a little dull. Let’s start with the issues, shall we?

     The story starts off strong and you would expect Disney to pour their heart out into making a stylish and classy inter-dimensional journey worthy of their skills. But that was not the case as the journey was cheesy and simplistic. Once the journey begins everything starts to feel rushed in a way that makes the story fall flat. Much of the dialogue and story within were reduced to dim monologues that only lasted a minute or two, rather than building on the mystery by adding their own integration of the cosmic powers of the Misses and the It. There are plenty of cute and kid-friendly gimmicks that is as far as they get, gimmicks which quickly become a bit annoying and repetitive. For instance, the name Charles Wallace started to become annoying because of its overuse throughout the film. In the original film, the name Charles Wallace was a mouthful but it did not reach the point of being obnoxious. There is a build-up to how deadly the darkness is so you would expect for the It to throw some good tricks but alas the ending was anticlimactic and the overall threat surrounding the It not as dark as it seems. Now the ending did not have to be the same as the original but it could have been a better and even a bit longer. I guess if you had read the book then the characters and story would have made more sense but I doubt that was the case for many audience members.
     As a result of the flawed story, the characters are never fully developed and the acting was mostly subpar from some of the cast despite there being some of the biggest names in Hollywood here. In fact, the cast, aside from a few good performances,  never matures past ‘girl-power’ junction. Storm Reid (Sleight) started off with a good performance of a passionate, unorganized, and pessimistic young girl but all of these characteristics were only proven in one scene throughout the whole film. While the filmmakers thought that would be enough, this is not enough to make Meg as relatable as she was in the original film. In the original, I felt that Meg was more relatable because she was reasonably realistic whereas this Meg is more obnoxiously fearful and pessimistic. Oprah (Selma) gave a good performance but since she is Oprah I expected her performance to be stronger then what I saw. Her portrayal of Mrs. Which is much different from Kate Nelligan’s portrayal from the original film, who I believe was stronger. However, Oprah’s portrayal of regality translates through the screen quite well. The antagonist was shockingly bland despite a reasonably good build-up towards an insurmountable darkness.

     While A Wrinkle in Time (2018) has its flaws and misses it is still an enjoyable, although cheesy, film. Director Ava DuVernay (Selma, producer) takes the audience on a journey and if they allow themselves to remember what it is like to be a child, then they will experience an undeniably inspiring and beautiful film. Critics and the majority of reviews don’t seem to understand the concept of the story, and I am almost certain that most audience members did not read the book. I also did not read the book. But according to those that had read the book, the book is pretty choppy and the film stays true to that with quick jumps from planet to planet and from scene to scene. And while there were not big plot holes there are a number of scenes that don’t make a whole lot of sense.
     The message of the film, and what I also assume to be the book, praises the concepts of hope and love by inspiring others to fight and be better than themselves. To use the positive to fight the negative, and by accepting your faults makes you stronger because in some way your faults helped shaped you into the person you are today. The dialogue is a bit preachy and cheesy but the emotional moments perfectly sell the film’s message. It teaches young audiences, and even some mature audiences, the value of self-worth and that it’s okay to be afraid sometimes but don’t let it define who you are because you are never alone.
     The cast had some subpar performance but there was also some performance that stood out among the rest. Even though Chris Pine (Wonder Woman), as Mr. Murry, had a small role he played his scenes perfectly without being excessive. Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) as Mrs. Murry, also had a small role but she filled it perfectly. Deric McCabe (Hold On) as Charles Wallace delivers an impressive performance despite his young age, honestly he was better than the original CW. Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project) as Mrs. Who was not the most engaging of characters but her lines were executed to be entertaining, dynamic, and wise. Reese Witherspoon (Home Again) was my favorite and gave an immaculate performance as Mrs. Whatsit by bringing much-needed spunk, comedy, and character to the film. She has great chemistry with the entire cast and her abilities as an actress can charm just about anyone.
     It is clear that Disney spared no expense when it comes to the visuals. The visuals are a bright and colorful extravaganza and are one of the most interesting parts of the film. The celestial couture of the Misses bring out their personalities and their frequent costume changes are spectacular. There is a perfect blend of makeup and costumes that could have easily be mistaken for Halloween costume party but luckily was not. The sweeping CGI landscapes are beautiful and the shimmering waves of “tessering” begin to blur the line between reality and fiction. The sound mixing was, as always, beautiful and orchestral arrangements perfectly match the mood in every scene.

     Overall, A Wrinkle in Time (2018) was a beautiful and inspiring film that takes us on a journey beyond reality. The visuals have improved tremendously since the original film and while the story’s message about hope, love, and self-worth are strong the rest of the story is disjointed with some annoying and repetitive dialogue. Some of the cast, in particular, Meg, gave subpar performances but there were the lucky few that managed to carry the film adequately.  I believe that critics have judged this film too harshly, while it was not the best film of all time it is most certainly also not the worse. In fact, I can go even so far as this version and the original version the same rating, 3 out of 5. Clearly, the target audience was elementary and middle school children but I think some adults will find this an enjoyable and reasonably digestible film, despite some cheesy moments. It is worth seeing in theaters? Perhaps on a $5 night or morning matinee but it’s not an absolute must see as you can easily wait till it comes out on Redbox.

"What if we are here for a reason? What if we are part of something truly divine?"
- Dr. Alex Murry

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  6.8 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  6.8 of 10 stars

I hope you liked this post, subscribe to my blog via email HERE, send in your comments, and watch A Wrinkle in Time (2018).

Movies Similar 
Aeon Flux (2005)
After Earth (2013)
Back to the Future (1985)
Back to the Future 2 (1989)
Back to the Future 3 (1990)
Chronicles of Narnia 1: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Chronicles of Narnia 2: Prince Caspian (2008)
Chronicles of Narnia 3: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010)
Earth to Echo (2014)
Elysium (2013)
Epic (2013)
Haunted Mansion, The (2003)
I, Robot (2004)
Iron Giant, The (1999)
Island, The (2005)
John Carter (2012)
Jumanji (1996)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
Jupiter Ascending (2015)
Maleficent (2014)
Matrix (1999)
Matrix Reloaded, The (2003)
Matrix Revolutions, The (2003)
Men In Black (1997)
Men In Black 2 (2002)
Men In Black 3 (2012)
Night at the Museum (2006)
Night at the Museum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb (2014)
Oz The Great and Powerful (2013)
Pan (2015)
Pete's Dragon (2016)
Real Steel (2011)
Space Between Us, The (2016)
Super 8 (2011)
Tomorrowland (2015)
Tron Legacy (2010)
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

No comments:

Post a Comment