At the fragile age of 13, life can seem to be a bit overwhelming. For Meg Murry (Storm Reid), the daughter of brilliant husband/wife scientist duo Dr. Alex (Chris Pine) and Kate Murry (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), life has dissolved into a meaningless amorphous mass. Four Years ago, Dr. Alex Murry suddenly disappeared, leaving behind his grieving wife, daughter and newly adopted son Charles Wallace Murry. Years later on “a dark and stormy night”, the Murrys are visited by their new eccentric next door neighbor Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) who eventually informs Mrs. Murry that tesseracts are real. The tesseract was the last project Meg’s dad was working on before his disappearance. The completion of the tesseract suggests that maybe Dr. Murry wasn’t abducted but, passed through ‘Wrinkles’ or folds in spacetime to travel across the universe. With the help of Ms. Whatsit, Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey) and schoolmate friend Calvin ‘Keefe (Levi Miller); Meg and Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) are off on a journey across the universe to find their father.
Though ‘Wrinkle’ is loaded with star power and a who’s who of supporting cast, Storm Reid turns in a wonderful performance as the troubled Meg, Murry. Cautions, suspicious and full of self loathing, Meg isn’t the typical hero who is destined to be a heroine. Though her physical traversing of the universe in search of her father is her main goal; much like with any good quest, the underlying themes of self worth, understanding and confidence, make it more of a reflective, dare I say spiritual journey. In one poignant scene that should really resonate with its target audience, Meg has an opportunity to start her life anew as the girl she thinks she needs to be to fit in to the middle school hierarchy. She has a snap decision to make, with consequences that could reverberate throughout the universe. That maybe a bit overly dramatic but, such is the life of a 13 year old.
As much as I liked the cast and wonderful, sweeping landscapes of the different worlds throughout their journey, A Wrinkle In Time isn’t without its faults. Longtime fans of the book could bark at the major differences between the book and the movie. However, there are more than a few movies that are far removed from its source material (ex. Resident Evil, Starship Troopers and Jurassic Park). However, some movie adaptations are adequate reflections of the source material. I’d put ‘Wrinkle’ in this category. Overall my biggest grip with ‘Wrinkle’s” is how rushed it felt. For it to be a sci-fi/fantasy, there’s very little science in it. The tesseract isn’t really explained, neither is how the planet hopping travel is possible. As the story builds to its climax, the payoff felt rushed and ill-conceived, leaving me with an underwhelming “oh…ok then”.
There aren’t too many films today that have an overarching message of positivity; something that ‘Wrinkle’s” target audience could use. However, the rushed feeling to this underwhelming screenplay, his elevated by high end CGI and likeable characters.
Rated: PG @109 mins
NOTE: In IMAX and 3D where available