a quiet place
a wrinkle in time
DIRECTOR: Ava DuVernay (selma)
STARRING: storm reid, oprah winfrey, reese witherspoon, and chris pine
REVIEWER: lyall Carter
After a scientific experiment goes awry and her father disappears, Meg, her brother, and a friend are sent into the big, wide universe to bring him home.
So much promise. When the first trailers A Wrinkle in Time trailers started coming out I thought they looked really good - I was genuinely hooked. But in spite of its good points, the main problem with A Wrinkle in Time comes down to the story.
The film opens solidly - we are introduced to Meg, her father, and his mysterious disappearance. Then it starts to get a bit weird - both in the characters we are introduced to and the pacing of the plot.
Even though this is a sci fi, the jumps that the story makes is a leap too far. One moment the movie is going one way and then it makes an abrupt 180 degree turn in a different direction. This isn't some form of twist but a complete change in the direction of the narrative. When it first happened I thought, "Ok, I can live with that. Its a bit of a jump but we're ok." But when it kept repeatedly happening it just infuriated me. What makes matters worst, in my mind, is that A Wrinkle in Time is directed by Ava Duvernay who was at the helm of the brilliant Selma, a depiction of Martin Luther King Jr's civil rights march on Selma, which is completely driven by the narrative.
Although the plot leaps and the pacing is just plain awful, the film does have a lot of heart in the form of the relationship between Meg and her father. There are some great implicit nods to Meg as a young girl of colour being an intelligent hero who isn't saved by some white male but instead saves him.
Storm Reid is exceptional as the protagonist Meg, giving a grounded, mature performance. Oprah gives a solid performance, Reese Witherspoon is slightly crazy (but not over the top), and unfortunately Mindy Kaling is completely underutilised. Chris Pine is also very good as Megs stranded in the universe father. The film is visually stunning, with rich colour, and wild, and wacky places and creatures. The New Zealand vistas are breathtaking and make a wonderful tourism advert for the country.
Although A Wrinkle in Time has good acting, stunning visual effects, and breathtaking New Zealand vistas, the lack of a cohesive story is reason enough to give this Disney outing a miss this time.