A Wrinkle in Time is a colourful, universe-hopping adventure to find Chris Pine: the man so handsome you quickly forget his character’s name.
After her quantum physicist father’s suspicious disappearance, Meg Murray is left in a weirdly cruel version of Los Angeles where everyone (teachers, kids, parents) bullies her for not having a dad around. Her only cheerleader is her intellectually brilliant, wise-cracking brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), who provides some Urkel-channelling comedy.
Charles Wallace leads her to the three “Mrs.”: wonderful women with an ever-changing wardrobe and carefully glittered faces. What lies beneath dad Alex’s disappearance is a battle of dark and light; and the saccharine-sweet message that accepting yourself for who you are will solve most of the world’s problems. While they’re wonderful to look at, their antics bring the film into severely goofy territory.
For a film that focuses on science from the outset, it prefers mystic secrets over logic too often. There’s a 20-minute scene on a far-away planet where a fleet of flowers talk to Meg through colours. Then, it’s revealed Mrs. Whatsit can transform into a flying cabbage creature, and that children can briefly learn to fly before plunging into peril. It’s an unenjoyable diversion that doesn’t serve the plot, the message or the characters.
However, these clunky moments don’t crowd out the sincere message of the film: negativity is contagious, so love who you are and also love everyone else. Sure, it’s heavy handed at times, but it’s a kids film: repetition is key.
Prepare to cringe your way through about a quarter of A Wrinkle in Time. Its weird marriage of science, magic and positive thinking sets scenes off-course. Yet, heartfelt messages and relationships are portrayed powerfully enough to make this a great film for any child.
CAST: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Peña
DIRECTOR: Ava DuVernay
WRITERS: Jennifer Lee (screenplay by), Madeleine L’Engle (based upon the novel by)
SYNOPSIS: After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.