Chad Reviews "A Wrinkle In Time"
Back in the ‘80s, we were introduced to an amazing film in which a young introverted kid tormented by bullies withdraws from most social interaction and escapes to a mystical fantasy land that is being threatened by a dark and malevolent threat that is quickly consuming it. Based on a popular fantasy novel and adapted by a celebrated filmmaker, “The Neverending Story” was a massively successful film that ushered in a new way of storytelling that appealed to a wide and diverse audience. Now, Disney is adapting a story from another celebrated novel that has a few striking similarities to the beloved 1984 film. Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 celebrated novel, Director Ava DuVernay brings “A Wrinkle In Time” back to life after a less than well received 2003 television adaptation.
Meg Murry (Storm Reid), her little brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), and her friend/classmate Calvin O’Keefe (Levi Miller) are thrown into an unexpected adventure four years after Meg and Charles Wallace’s father, Dr. Alex Murry (Chris Pine), mysteriously vanishes while researching theories on inter-dimensional and interstellar travel. After they are contacted by the “Three Mrs.” Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) with information to their father’s whereabouts, they leave their mother, Dr. Kate Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), behind and begin their search across the universe to find their missing father and stop the spread of an all-consuming darkness threatening to engulf everything in its path.
There is so much to love about this film….so it bums me out that I don’t. Featuring a powerhouse cast and a truly uplifting message of family unity and female empowerment, feel that’s where the strengths of this film stop and the weaknesses begin to become more evident. It’s pretty to look at for quite a while, but it eventually becomes an exercise in CGI overload where the true victim of this film becomes the story itself. Losing its focus on what the core of everything we come to watch movies for in the first place, to witness a great story, the screenplay takes several liberties with the source material which bogs itself down in so much style and bombast while unfortunately lacking in substance. Everything becomes so muddled and confusing while missing the mark when it comes time to emotional crescendos, not allowing enough time to truly marinate in the moment before pulling the rug out from under you and changing the mood completely. Don’t get me wrong; there is a decent film here beneath all the shiny paint and flashing lights, but what we have is here is another squandered opportunity to tell a great story that unfortunately falls short and has to settle for the bronze.