A Wrinkle in Time review round-up: Disney's "wildly uneven" film focuses more on style than substance

FP Staff

Mar 12, 2018 16:15:42 IST

A month after Black Panther showcased black excellence in the form of a superhero movie, A Wrinkle in Time is hoping to do the same through a beloved American children’s novel.

Directed by Ava DuVernay, the Disney movie transforms author Madeleine L’Engle’s 1962 tale of science fiction, adolescent angst and imagination into a vision of black female empowerment.

The film also marks the first time a woman of color has directed a Hollywood action movie with a budget bigger than $100 million, and with such a multi-racial cast.

 A Wrinkle in Time review round-up: Disneys wildly uneven film focuses more on style than substance

Reese Witherspoon, Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling in a promo for A Wrinkle in Time. Disney

Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon play the three supernatural beings who help guide Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a 13-year-old who loves physics, in a search for her missing father that involves saving the universe from impending evil.

However, early reviews for the movie have been mixed. Movie critics praised the visual imagination of A Wrinkle in Time and its messages of diversity and empowerment. But Variety said the film was “wildly uneven, weirdly suspenseless, and totally all over the place,” while the Los Angeles Times liked the “sheer exuberance” of the movie but wished it was “more focused, more disciplined.”

Tim Grierson of Screen International said: "Director Ava DuVernay emphasises an emotional clarity and narrative simplicity that allows the book’s sci-fi examination of friendship, family and forgiveness to resonate with almost mythic force."

Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich noted that it "hits that unfortunate un-sweet spot common to big-budget science-fiction/fantasy, where the spectacle feels more summarized than experienced."

Brian Truitt of USA Today says the film "boasts stylish fantasy but lacks storytelling substance."

The Guardian's Amy Nicholson was similarly critical, saying "A Wrinkle in Time feels like a product molded by a megacorporation too tense to hand over the factory controls. You can only see DuVernay carving her initials into the corners of the film..."

With inputs from Reuters

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Updated Date: Mar 12, 2018 16:15:42 IST