THE UNIVERSE — We're now in March, which means we're on the cusp of the summer movie season of 2018.
Big-budget movies like "Avengers: Infinity War," "Deadpool 2" and "Solo: A Star Wars Story" are headed to cinemas this summer. But before we get to those, a few other spectacle films are coming to theaters, including this week's release "A Wrinkle in Time."
The movie is based on the book of the same name by Madeleine L'Engle, and adapting a beloved children's novel is no easy feat. Unfortunately, this movie falls short.
There are things to like about "A Wrinkle in Time" and there is some charm to the film, but overall the film is clunky, sporadic and at times boring.
I wanted to like this movie, and I was hoping for a fun escape from reality and a glimpse into fantastic worlds and other dimensions, but that's not what we got.
Here are some reasons "A Wrinkle in Time" is not the fun family outing you may have been hoping for this weekend.
Jamming a novel's worth of content into one movie is a tall order and it's really difficult to do it well. The book creates a vast universe of different worlds and multiple dimensions with rich characters and in-depth explanations to much of the science driving the plot.
Getting all of that into a movie was always going to be next to impossible. But instead of focusing on just a few small aspects of the novel, the filmmakers bit off more than they could chew and it resulted in characters and a story that is hard to care about.
The lead characters lack depth, and it's hard to feel emotionally connected to their stories and their motivations.
I don't like getting after child actors considering the difficult task these young people are asked to perform. The kids that play the leads are OK, and I'm guessing the girl who plays Meg Murray, Storm Reid, will make a name for herself in the entertainment industry.
But overall their performances weren't great, and I'm sure some of that has to do with the fact that the script they had to work from wasn't great.
Among the adult actors, Mrs. Which, played Oprah Winfrey, Mrs. Whatsit, played by Reese Witherspoon, and Mrs. Who, played by Mindy Kaling, are supposed to be fun and charming, but they come across forced and lacking.
Winfrey's character just stands around and tries to spit out words of wisdom, which results in a real waste of her talent. Witherspoon is supposed to be the newbie to world-saving missions with an adorable lack of social awareness and how humans work. Instead, she comes across as obnoxious and unlikable.
Kaling's character falls victim to the movie not explaining her backstory, so she ends up a confusing intergalactic helper who spits out Shakespeare quotes mixed with Outkast lyrics. If you've read the book then you understand where she's coming from, but if you haven't then it makes pretty much no sense.
On top of all of this, you start to realize the Mrs. characters really aren't much help at all and have likely just put these children in more danger than they already were in.
Trying to jam so much material into a movie in less than two hours results in a rushed film that feels confusing and seriously lacking.
Overall, the adventure these kids go on feels like it only takes 10 minutes with two stops along the way and one of them resulting in no answers whatsoever.
Everything happens so fast that you don't really understand how people travel between dimensions, why Meg's father is lost or why the Mrs. characters have any interest in helping these children find their father instead of helping the other people in need. We're also led to believe that Meg and her little brother Charles Wallace are incredibly important, but I still couldn't tell you why.
As much as I wanted to enjoy "A Wrinkle in Time," I just couldn't. My 7-year-old daughter enjoyed it enough, but she even said she got bored. My 5-year-old son kept asking when we could leave and a couple of scenes scared him a bit. The movie is quite tame, but a few scenes may be a bit scary for really little ones.
"A Wrinkle in Time" is rated PG for thematic elements and some peril.