A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
A Wrinkle in Time is a 2018 Science Fantasy film based on the 1962 book of the same name. The film follows a young girl who travels across space and time in order to find her father with the help of 3 inter-dimensional beings.
The film received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics who praised the emotional moments and diversity of the cast, but criticized the overuse of CGI and numerous plotholes. The film was also a box office bomb, grossing only $130 million against a $100-130 million budget.
Thirteen-year-old middle school student Meg Murry struggles to adjust to both her school and home life ever since her father Alex, a well-renowned scientist, mysteriously disappeared (while he was studying astrophysics) when she was very young. Both Meg and her mother Kate believe he solved the question of humanity's existence and theorize he was teleported to another world.
During the night, Meg's younger brother Charles Wallace welcomes Mrs. Whatsit, a red-haired stranger in an extravagant white dress, into the Murry family house. Mrs. Whatsit claims that the tesseract, a type of space-travel Alex was working on, is real, and leaves soon after. The next day, one of Meg's classmates, Calvin O'Keefe, joins them to go to the house of Mrs. Who, another strange woman who speaks only in quotations and seems to know Charles Wallace.
When Calvin joins Meg and Charles Wallace in their backyard, Mrs. Whatsit appears with Mrs. Who and another woman, Mrs. Which, who is the oldest and appears as a giant. The three reveal themselves as astral travelers, and lead Meg, Calvin, and Charles Wallace through a tesseract taking them to a distant planet named Uriel.
Mrs. Whatsit transforms into a beautiful green flying creature, and takes the children up into the atmosphere, where they see a dark shadow known as The IT. Mrs. Which tells Meg her father's experiments resulted in his being captured by The IT, a malevolent entity plotting to take over the universe. Gaining the women's trust, Meg and the others tesser to another planet where a seer known as the Happy Medium resides.
The Happy Medium shows them Meg's father is trapped on a planet called Camazotz, The IT's homeworld. Mrs. Which also explains that The IT represents all of the greed, anger, pride, selfishness, and low self-esteem in the world. He shows them examples of these characteristics, including a friend and neighbor of Charles Wallace getting mugged at a bus stop, her school enemy Veronica Kiley’s extreme self-consciousness about her weight and her resulting dieting habits, and that Calvin, despite being popular at school, is abused by his father. The three Mrs. propose that they travel back to Earth to regroup, but Meg's strong will to find her father overrides the tesseract, and she accidentally redirects them to umotot instead.
Upon arriving on umotot, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who find that they are unable to stay, because Camazotz's evil is stronger than their light. Before they depart, they bestow gifts upon Meg: Mrs. Who's glasses, the knowledge of Meg's faults, and the command to never separate.
The trio treks through Camazotz's hazardous traps before reaching a crowded beach where they meet the IT's bodyguard, Red. He offers the starving children food and tells them that Alex is safe and happy. He reveals to them there is nothing to worry about here, but Calvin and Meg realize something is wrong when Charles Wallace proclaims that all of the food tastes like sand. When Red starts repeating the times tables, Charles Wallace is hypnotized by the rhythm, allowing the IT to take full control of his mind.
When Meg and Calvin pursue Charles Wallace, they find themselves in a seemingly empty room. Using Mrs. Who's glasses, Meg finds an invisible staircase leading to the room where her father is being kept prisoner. After bringing him out of captivity, the IT's power allows Charles Wallace to forcefully drag them to finally meet his master. As Calvin and Meg fall under the IT's power, Alex opens another tesser and prepares to leave with the children, abandoning Charles Wallace. Meg refuses and projects out of the tesser herself, leaving her alone. When she confronts Charles Wallace, she realizes the IT uses deception and hatred for power. Using her love for her brother and the knowledge that she is imperfect, Meg frees Charles Wallace from the control of the IT and releases Camazotz from the control of the evil entity. The three Mrs. return and tell Meg that it is time for her to tesser for herself.
After returning home, Meg thanks the women for their help rescuing her father. They part ways, and Veronica begins acting nicer to her. The film ends with the Murry family celebrating a joyful reunion and Calvin going home to confront his father.
Why It Sucks
- While the film has a decent grasp of the source material, it's more of an insult than a tribute to the book. (See WIS #11 for more information.)
- Paper thin characters.
- Over-the-top performances.
- Numerous saccharine moments.
- Pointless characters such as the school bully, Veronica.
- The IT is a generic evil force that is introduced out-of-nowhere with no build-up whatsoever.
- The montage of the IT's effects on the world is pointless and is forgotten immediately afterwards.
- Calvin's father is shown to hound him for his grades which is completely out of nowhere and has no impact on Calvin's behavior.
- Veronica is shown to be anorexic which is pointless due to her being an extremely minor character who only appears in a handful of scenes and has no lines outside of the beginning of the film.
- Speaking of Calvin, he is a bland, boring, stereotypical boy next door character, unlike the book, who contributes little to the plot, making him pointless.
- Stiff child acting.
- Wonky pacing.
- The grasp of the source material may be decent, but it's not very faithful to the book, as there are important parts and characters from the book not included in the movie.
- The Misses (Ms. Whatsit, Ms. Who, and Ms. Which) are human-like supernatural beings as opposed to being more Centaur-like in the book.
- Meg's biological brother in the book, Charles Wallace, is now adopted.
- Meg's twin brothers, Sandy and Dennys, Aunt Beast, and Planet Ixchel, despite being major parts of the book, do not appear in the movie. Only Aunt Beast and Ixchel are mentioned for five seconds, but not shown.
- Just like in the 2014 film Annie, this movie has blackwashing, namely with Meg.
- All the planets are way to earth-like, and with the amount of CGI they were using, this is unacceptable.
- The film puts more effort into being weird and fantastical than into storytelling.
- The CGI and the 3D are just incredibly boring.
- Lots of plotholes.
- Mrs Whatsit, in her supernatural form, looks like a cross between Gardevoir and an asparagus
- The concept of a girl traveling to different planets to find her father is great.
- Decent soundtrack.
- Decent ending.
- Breathtaking environments.
- It's somewhat an improvement over the 2003 A Wrinkle in Time TV movie, which was also made by Disney.