By Travis J. Klemann
One intelligent father, two remarkable children and three mysterious women propel this science fantasy adventure spanning 109 minutes.
Walt Disney Studios and director Ava DuVernay magically bring to life the 1962 novel from author Madeleine L'Engle with assistance from an exceptional cast.
Scientist Alex Murry (Chris Pine) suddenly vanishes, leaving behind a wife, daughter and recently adopted son. Four years later, Meg Murry (Storm Reid) still struggles with her dad's disappearance along with being bullied by a popular classmate.
The arrival of three peculiar women, Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon), Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling) and Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), leads to an incredible journey for Meg, her brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe) and classmate Calvin O'Keefe (Levi Miller).
Additionally, the fantastical voyage doubles as a quest to rescue Alex Murry. The Happy Medium (Zach Galifianakis) reveals her father has been trapped on the evil planet Camazotz ever since he "tessered" (transported) there years ago. A malicious merciless malevolent entity known simply as "the IT" is focused on controlling the universe by using Alex's knowledge of astrophysics.
Meg's determination to find her father causes her to "tesser" to Camazotz along with Charles Wallace and Calvin while Mrs. Which, Whatsit and Who must depart as their light (good) is vulnerable due to the dark (evil) of the planet. They each leave Meg with an individual gift to assist in her travels.
At the planet's beach landscape, the children meet Red (Michael Peña) who hypnotizes Charles Wallace to essentially "join the dark side."
[Star Wars reference!]
Meg and Calvin follow Charles Wallace, now under the influence of "the IT", into a white barren room. Meg locates an invisible staircase which leads her to the room where her father has been imprisoned.
Alex Murry "tessers" himself and Calvin back to earth while Meg stays to confront "the IT" and save her brother. Charles Wallace tries to use deception and hate to defeat Meg Murry but she counteracts with her brother's love for her despite her faults.
IT's power over Camazotz becomes greatly diminished and Charles Wallace is freed from the entity's control. The three mysterious women return and the Murry children "tesser" home. Alex Murry reunites with his wife Kate (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) while Meg expresses her gratitude towards Mrs. Which, Whatsit and Who.
4/5 Stars - Highly Recommended
PS: Hopefully I didn't spoil too much about the story, it's one you'll definitely want to see rather than read about. The Star Wars reference was obviously because of the fact that Disney owns the epic sci-fi franchise. Additionally, they used the term tesseract in this film which is frequently used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, also owned by Disney. And there's a slight Stephen King connection due to the similarity of "the IT" name and the fact that it draws strength from the light (good).
Yes, I'm still a nerd.