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A Wrinkle in Time Movie Review

It’s time for another movie review presented by our good friends over at FatCats Gilbert on the southwest corner of Greenfield and Baseline! FatCats Gilbert is the best place to see all of the latest Hollywood hits including Disney’s brand new film, A Wrinkle in Time! To see all showtimes and to purchase tickets, you can click right HERE!

Disney has come into 2018 swinging for the fences with Black Panther just a few weeks ago and now A Wrinkle in Time! I haven’t read the book for A Wrinkle in Time, but I was curious. I think that Ava DuVernay is an extremely talented storyteller, and I think that Disney is the most consistent studio in terms of quality. I’ve heard that the book is quite the journey and that it would be tough to put to film, but I love seeing ambitious movies succeed!

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A Wrinkle in Time is directed by Ava DuVernay and stars Storm Reid, Deric McCabe, Chris Pine, Levi Miller, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling. Four years following the disappearance of her father, Meg, played by Reid, is visited by three other-worldly beings who seem to have come for her brother, a thinking prodigy. When she learns that her father is not gone, but rather just lost and in need of rescue, Meg enlists in the help of her friend Calvin to find him, and with the guidance of the universe-traveling Misses, she embarks on a journey through time and space to find her father.

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I was actually very excited for this movie, and after watching Ava DuVernay discuss her thoughts on the film being about finding your inner child and letting the light in through viewing the world through a child’s lens, I thought that I might be in for a treat. Unfortunately, I walked out of the theater very disappointed. I will say that there are a few things about this movie that I absolutely loved, so I’ll start with those. I loved its overwhelming positivity and its willingness to test that and push against it. Often times movies that are exceptionally positive never have the guts to put that positivity to the test, but A Wrinkle in Time goes very dark at points to show us the limits of its characters and its world, and I have to respect that. I also love how it addresses the idea of being a child and how youth doesn’t imply incorrectness. Wisdom may not necessarily come with age, and just because someone is young, that does not make his or her opinion invalid or incorrect. Yes, of course, world experience has a lot to do with how adults may be more perceptive than children, but authority does not always correlate with moral correctness. I also loved Storm Reid. If you came to me from fifteen years in the future and told me that Storm Reid was a mega-star, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised. I loved her performance and her dynamic with both her father and her adopted brother. She carried the weight of those relationships, and she sold them beautifully.

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A Wrinkle in Time has some spectacular ideas, but I honestly believe that it had no earthly idea how to express those ideas and allow them to correlate. This story is an absolute mess. It tends to settle down slightly in the second act once it finds its footing in the universe-traveling, but even then there seems to be no link between scenes and ideas. Scenes and events just randomly happen, and if you asked me to organize the events today, just one day after seeing the movie, I don’t think I would be able to. There is no causality or motivation in most of the characters, and it fails to explore a lot of ideas that it brings up. On top of being mostly jumbled and incomprehensible, it offers so many character dynamics that are never returned to. For example, there is a stereotypical bully who verbally attacks our main character multiple times throughout the movie. It tries to give the bully an arc and motivations, but it misses the mark by so much, and each scene feels contrived, convenient, or out-of-nowhere. Also, one of the main characters in the film, Calvin, just pops on in. He has no reason for being in this film and no reason for joining Meg on this journey across the galaxy. His actions are left completely up to random chance and fate, and I didn’t buy a single second of it. The villain in the film is also very weak. There is a certain point in the film at which the characters come face-to-face with the villain, but they aren’t tested by it. Again, random events seem to simply occur without rhyme or reason. I would honestly say that only three characters had any business being in this story. The rest were left completely on the back burner without any depth and with forced arcs. Most of the issues come from the direction, the editing, and the dialogue being on-the-nose or really unsure of where to go, and I really don’t believe that the story was well-assembled. I was also expecting the film to have a certain emphasis on spectacle that comes with traveling through the universe. While it does, I never fully bought into the CG. In context, it looks fine, but in terms of creating a realistic world, it never made sense or sold me on the story visually. Finally, I found one of the main ideas very weak. I’m not going to spoil it, but it’s something that I couldn’t give a pass to in Interstellar, and I’m not going to give it a pass in A Wrinkle in Time either.

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Overall, there are a few great things in A Wrinkle in Time. Storm Reid is phenomenal, it’s gutsy in the way it tests its positive tone, and its views on children are beliefs that I am very invested in. Unfortunately it never tied any of those positives together with any form of clear storytelling. A Wrinkle in Time is so jumbled and bouncy that no motivations or arcs could be fully realized. No events could connect to each other, and every single beat seemed to randomly happen throughout the entire film. I also thought that all but three characters were pointless to the film. If the movie had four characters, that might be forgivable, but A Wrinkle in Time had about a dozen characters who were intended to have a consequential purpose. The dialogue has no subtlety to it, and the editing has no flow or clarity. There are some great things in this movie, but it’s never able to drag itself up from the ground it has been kicked to by its storytelling. I’m going to give A Wrinkle in Time a disappointing 4/10.

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Will you be seeing A Wrinkle in Time? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!

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Justin Lyons

Hey, it's Justin Lyons! I am the Chief Film Critic for The Pulse. Have any questions for me? Please feel free to email me at movies@pulseradio.fm