I see a lot of bad movies every year. It’s a part of the job.
But I have a rule: Every film deserves the opportunity to prove to me that it can be the best movie ever made. As such, I refuse to leave the theater during the actual runtime. For the most part, it’s actually pretty easy. Even with awful films like “Maze Runner: The Death Cure,” there’s always something good I can find and hold on to.
However, every now and then, a film comes out of the woodwork and puts my patience to the test. These certain films take every ounce of my strength not to stand up and leave. “A Wrinkle in Time” is the first such film this year.
Since the disappearance of her father four years ago, Meg (Storm Reid, “12 Years a Slave”) has been steadily losing friends and failing at school, becoming an outcast. That’s when she is approached by three inter-dimensional beings (Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling) to find her father and save the universe from the literal embodiment of darkness.
From the start, it’s clear that the film’s quality will be drastically subpar.
Dialogue in the opening act exists solely for exposition. Characters spout all the important, and useless, information one could ever need to get a grasp on everybody’s history. The only things the writers forgot to establish were an actual narrative, plot and story. The villain isn’t even introduced until thirty minutes in.
It was the moment when Reese Witherspoon turned into a giant, sentient, flying piece of lettuce when I knew I was going to hate the film. I lost count in the number of times I slammed my head on the back of my chair, dreading the next ridiculous scene or line that would push my patience. The near-ceaseless series of silly and bizarre moments bombarded me constantly, leaving me tired and broken.
The writing is also a major problem. Adults act like kids and kids act like adults; just the kind of thing that riles me up. This is especially true for Storm’s younger brother, Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), whose lines are completely devoid of childhood innocence. The stuff that comes out of that little brat’s mouth are so unrealistic, it’s a wonder that anyone didn’t think that the script was completely insane.
“A Wrinkle in Time” is nauseating whimsical. Characters don’t just run through a meadow. They gleefully saunter and skip across the grassy knoll, giggling at the wonder of such an innocuous act while intrusively playful music accompanies them.
It’s not enough to simply show emotion through visual cues. One must extravagantly express how events have shaped them while the camera swings around them distracted by the dull CGI sets. It’s exhausting to see a film where every second is dedicated to being whimsical, especially when, in reality, it isn’t.
The movie’s messages are also disturbingly misplaced.
Suggestions such as: Don’t worry about developing as a human being. According to this film, you’re perfect the way you are. You shouldn’t be expected to change, grow or learn from your mistakes. There’s no need to apologize for hurting someone or acting out. You are you, and you are perfect.
Look, I understand that we as a species really should assess the way we view ourselves and learn to be happy with who we are, but growth is a massive part of the human experience.
Alessia Cara is wrong when she said, “You don’t need to change a thing, the world could change its heart.” The world will never be a better place to live if we aren’t willing to change ourselves first. This film merely panders, telling people that they’re perfect when none of us are.
“A Wrinkle in Time” also has the audacity to claim that negative human emotions such as envy, greed, hatred or self-loathing aren’t caused by complex human interactions, our own pride and random firing of neurons in our brains. No, they’re brought on by the influence of a giant, black space fart. This would suggest that the countless deaths caused by wars and terror attacks throughout history were also inspired by the will of a cosmic being eerily similar to Galactus from “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” the worst Marvel superhero movie ever made.
Then, at the end of the film, Meg, who (spoiler alert) saves the universe by merely expressing love to her younger brother (whom we already knew she cared about), is compared to some incredible figures in history; people who fought for freedom or saved hundreds of lives like Gandhi and Oskar Schindler.
I can’t help but be mildly offended for these individuals who actually had a lasting and positive impact on the world. For example, Oskar Schindler saved the lives of roughly 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. His bravery is compared to a young child who stood up to a large gaseous flatulence with glowing tentacle fingers.
While watching this film, all I wanted to do was stand up and leave.
“A Wrinkle in Time” is miserably awful. It’s so pretentious and distracted with its own mediocre visuals it forgot to have anything meaningful to say. There’s barely a whisper of a story, the messages are wholly offensive, and the events that take place on screen are utterly boring. It’s a cataclysmic disaster that should be avoided at all cost!