I’ve been hearing a lot of folks claim that now that reviewers weren’t kind to A Wrinkle in Time, that now we should stop saying that reviewers have a bias towards Disney movies.
Okay, so Disney comes out with a non-Marvel, non-Star Wars, non-Pixar movie that is not a sequel, and now that a majority of reviewers have apparently called a spade a spade, we should now ignore the fact that most of the time, Disney properties don’t get criticized for things that other franchises tend to get criticized for?
I’m not convinced.
Besides, much to my absolute shock, a Rotten Tomatoes score of 42% (with an average rating of 5.2 out of 10) is, in my opinion, still grading this absolute trash on a curve.
This movie is a baffling infuriation.
Every single element of this garbage is absolutely contrived, disjointed, nonsensical, inorganic, and I could go on and on.
The acting in this entire movie is abysmal. With that said, I think it would be unfair to go too far into the acting, because the script is so unbelievably terrible, that you could have Francis McDormand, Jake Gyllenhaal, Denzel Washington, and Daniel Day-Lewis star in this movie, and even they wouldn’t be able to pull it off.
Every character within the story is either a walking piece of exposition, or a poorly written idea (except for MAYBE Chris Pine).
The main character, Meg, might as well be called “Script”. There is almost nothing organic that ever comes out of her mouth. Almost every single line she is given is either something that the audience needs to know, something about her character, or just something awkward that killed any sort of dialogue flow this movie marginally has.
And please keep in mind, this isn’t some sort of condemnation of the actress. As stated before, you could take the most talented actress in the world, and Meg would still be a disastrously written character.
The little brother, by nature of being a child actor, was distractingly stiff. Every single line of dialogue that this boy has can be boiled down to the director saying “say something quirky, mysterious, and moronic.” If anything, you could easily just rename this kid “Style-Over-Substance”. In fact, when the three women come in, who also just say a bunch of random and weird garbage, the little brother rarely ever talks anymore because his sole job is no longer available.
The white boy that follows Meg around, I’m going to call him “Walking Pep Talk”. Honestly guys. Nobody in this film is a character, because nothing in the script makes any damn sense.
The three magic women were awful. Oprah Winfrey would’ve been fine if the script wasn’t so terrible. Reese Witherspoon is just walking quirkiness, and that’s it.
Mindy Kaling… get this… Mindy Kaling’s only dialogue is just quoting famous people and name dropping them afterwards. Now this might’ve been fine if the quotes were actually of any sort of substance, but her quotes ALWAYS have extremely weak ties to anything that is being said.
Hey, Mindy Kaling, I’ve got a line for you to say in this movie:
“A Wrinkle in Time is brain cancer incarnate. –Steve J Donahue, American.”
Now imagine a character that just talks like that. The entire time. I thought the little brother was the worst thing about this movie, and then when they introduced Kaling, I realized that this movie was going to be even worse than I originally feared.
And what’s worse is not even THAT is consistent in this movie; Mindy Kaling doesn’t speak in quotes whenever the plot needs it. The movie not only has awful ideas, but it can’t even commit to their awful ideas.
But the absolute worst part of this movie is undoubtedly the script. I cringed so hard at so many pieces of dialogue in this movie that my eyes frequently rolled into my skull in sheer agony.
Every single plot point in this movie is contrived. There is no rules in this universe to make any sort of sense of what kind of peril or danger anyone is in.
Now, I know some people might say, “Steve, isn’t this supposed to be a trippy, wild, creative movie? So why are you upset that this movie has no rules?”
NO! No, no, no! Every single movie has to be grounded in some sort of measurable way. Otherwise, if the universe of the film just makes things up as it goes along, then you will eventually realize that nobody is truly in any sort of danger because the rules for the universe will just write away any sort of conflict. And sure enough, for this entire movie, nobody is ever, EVER, in any sort of danger. Go figure.
Every single freaking occurrence in this movie is an absolute discombobulation. I’ve never had to restructure my frame of reference so many times in one movie. The entire story is absolutely incoherent and inconsequential from start to finish. The only reason I was able to know what was going on is because I am SIGNIFICANTLY aware of generic story structure and mind-numbing movie clichés.
Speaking of which, no message in this movie is ever organically developed. But even if they did develop the themes and messages in the movie, they are so overused in YA films anyway, that I don’t think it would have improved the movie very much.
Aside from the visuals, the camera work is awful. There were many, many awkward face close-ups that were distracting in an already distracting movie.
The music was a disease to the ears.
This movie is an abomination. Every single character isn’t even a character. Every line of dialogue is excruciating. Every single bit of style is met with a complete lack of substance. There is no organic character development. There is no story continuity. There is no rules in this universe. There is no sense of flow. There is no sense of connection to the story except in the most shallow sense possible.
You can have all of the amazing visuals that Disney can buy you, but if you lack any sort of competence to follow through with any sort of basic story structure, then the movie might as well be animated with horse shit.
This movie is bad, and anyone who tells you differently is grading it on a curve.