A Wrinkle in Time pits good vs. evil with the odd plot hole
Richard Crouse also reviews the thriller The Strangers: Prey at Night, Canadian-made Meditation Park, and outdated comedy Gringo.
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A WRINKLE IN TIME 2½ stars
Based on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic novel, A Wrinkle in Time sees a young girl go interplanetary to find her missing father.
The story isn’t really about fifth-dimensional time travel or any of that, it’s about fundamental human truths, self-worth and the struggle between good and evil.
Director Ava DuVernay wrestles big themes, but the film occasionally feels more interested in the visuals and ideas than the story.
THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT 2½ stars
In the sequel to 2008’s The Strangers, three relentless masked killers terrorize a family living in a remote trailer park.
The Strangers: Prey at Night is a queasy-making experience that stems from the idea of people doing awful things for no reason. It’s nihilism.
It’s also a tight, 85-minute thriller that values suspense over gore but goes too heavy on the sadism.
GRINGO 2½ stars
Gringo sees David Oyelowo play a mild-mannered man whose life falls apart as he finds himself in the middle of a situation involving a Mexican drug cartel.
Oyelowo finds a pleasing balance between Harold’s desperation and exasperation, mining the character’s situation for maximum humour.
Aside from showcasing Oyelowo’s comedic side, Gringo feels old fashioned, like it has been sitting around on a shelf somewhere, hidden from view since the 1990s.
MEDITATION PARK 3½ stars
In Meditation Park a woman, with the help of friends and family, asserts her independence, coming out from underneath her overbearing husband’s shadow.
Mina Shum’s Meditation Park takes place within a few blocks in East Vancouver but tells an emotional and universal story of the immigrant experience in Canada.
The story of her personal journey is told with a mix of comedy and heartfelt emotion but it is Cheng Pei Pei’s sensitive performance that breathes life into the movie.
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In Focus: Richard Crouse