Tony's Take

A WRINKLE IN TIME review

Be A Warrior

After 2003’s made-for-television movie, Madeleine L ‘Engle’s beloved “A Wrinkle in Time is finally brought to the big screen with the talented Ava DuVernay at the helm.  The film opens as a young father (Chris Pine) is showing his daughter, Meg (Storm Reid), around his laboratory filled-with plenty of cool scientific equipment.  As we learn more, Meg’s father had disappeared one night and it’s been 4 years since; leaving behind Meg, her adopted brother with an incredible IQ Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), and their mom (Gugu Mbatha-Raw).  On the 4th anniversary of his disappearance, a strange, extravagantly-dressed lady named Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) pays the family a visit.  Not long after, Charles Wallace takes Meg and her friend, Calvin (Levi Miller), to meet another strange lady named Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) who is able to read people.  However, it is not long after when both Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who visit the three children in their backyard, joined by Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), in a radiant, over-sized appearance.  They claim to have knowledge of where Meg and Charles Wallace’s father is, but they must tesser (travel between universes) in-order to save him.  Once arriving, the group must navigate the beauties, wonders, a Happy Medium (Zach Galifianikis) and its corresponding dangers (Red Man played by Michael Pena) of the universe; but must do so quickly, as their father is trapped by The It (voiced by David Oyelowo) and it has its eyes set on the others.

DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time” is a beautiful, extravagant offering, but it doesn’t entirely deliver on its promises.  The biggest success of the film is the cast.  Storm Reid is a revelation, certainly an actress I expect to see more of in the future.  Deric McCabe is also tremendous as Charles Wallace; not to give anything away, but the actor certainly goes through the wheel of emotions.  However, it’s the three “big names” that are having the most fun here.  Oprah Winfrey fully-embraces her “fairy godmother” role, Reese Witherspoon is clearly having the time of her life, and Kaling is too taking liberties with her character.  As I mentioned earlier, the film is captivating due to its incredible visuals.  The wondrous use of color combinations is eye-popping and makes the film literally “jump” off the screen.  While undoubtedly gorgeous, the film also serves as a letter to the youth.  DuVernay’s passion and eye appreciated, but it’s her message that is the most resounding; follow your dreams and believe in yourself.

However, “A Wrinkle in Time” is no masterpiece.  The finished product feels incomplete, the film’s final 1/3 is ridden with plot holes and feels rushed (as Disney undoubtedly requested).  Not a shot at DuVernay, as she did a tremendous job with what she had, but the script was never a recipe for success.  The film sets-up so many questions, but offers few answers which will frustrate many viewers.  Not to mention, the film’s grand finale is underwhelming to say the least.  The film’s final moments are very redeeming though and they will tug at your heartstrings.  “A Wrinkle in Time” has a run time of 109 minutes and it does drag during the beginning as it takes some time to get started.  Overall, the film feels incomplete; a beautiful spectacle full of fun, interesting characters, but it thoroughly leaves you hoping for more.  However, the film’s message is resounding and it will be sure to strike a chord with young girls of all race.  While it certainly won’t captivate moviegoers like “Black Panther” did, “A Wrinkle in Time” is sure to find its audience!           

 3/5

A WRINKLE IN TIME is rated PG for thematic elements and some peril, in theaters MARCH 9TH!

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