‘A Wrinkle in Time’ | Movie Review - Republic-Times | News

‘A Wrinkle in Time’ | Movie Review

By on March 9, 2018 at 1:40 pm

When I heard that Oprah Winfrey spoke of her new movie “A Wrinkle in Time” as a future classic, I knew I’d need to talk myself into giving it a decent chance before seeing it. Indeed, the lady herself likened this movie to the new “Wizard of Oz.”

My mouth curls. I should stop here and say that, no matter what, I think Oprah is a good actress. She’s one of my favorites from “The Color Purple.” But not all roles are for her. This particular one, as an all-knowing, keeper of the universe, would seem to fit her well. She plays Mrs. Which, the senior member of a trio of celestial ladies. Mrs. Whatsit, the goofy “hippy type,” wide-eyed and outspoken one, is played by Reese Witherspoon. Then there’s the more cerebral Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling), who speaks in famous quotes and is rather cryptic throughout the movie. Neither actress gets a chance to show us what they are really capable of and their performances come off as campy.

I found it hilarious that Madam Winfrey’s character is often shown as being a 12-foot high, titan-type who is always center stage with glistening costume and blonde hair. One would almost expect her to pick up a microphone and speak directly to the camera, offering her best advice for how we can all have our own best life.

Meg Murry (played by Storm Reid), is a girl devoted to her scientist Dad (Chris Pine). When he disappears for four years, seemingly as a result of unlocking the mysteries of time travel, Meg and her little brother (Deric McCabe) along with friend Calvin (Levi Miller) go on a journey with the help of the three ladies mentioned above. They encounter evil, of course, and instead of building up to the epic moment when the kids are reunited with their dad, we are given a scene where Meg just sort of stumbles onto him. Pine and Reid, when they find one another, have a good moment and Reid shows some acting chops that will serve her well when she is given better material someday.

The other actors do their best, but poor little love-interest Levi Miller has been directed to stare, flash his dimples, and moon over Meg throughout the movie. He, of course, is not needed, because it’s all about Meg becoming her own heroine and saving the world.

The movie is preachy and tries so darned hard to be precise and politically correct that it tanks. Not enough time is spent on anything in the movie. It seems like the Cliff’s Notes version of the original book, and even then, it is so tragically summarized and quick that we are left saying “What just happened?” Lackluster, flat, with very few bright spots. Few things seem to work in this movie.

I can’t say much more.  I wouldn’t spend money to see it, nor would I rent it. My 6-year old loved it, so there’s that. Watch it when it comes to television… if you must.

My grade: D-

“A Wrinkle in Time” opens March 9 and is rated PG. It runs 109 minutes.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.