The Dark Tower takes bits and pieces of Stephen King’s rich mythology to create a bare bones adaptation that will enrage fans and bore everyone else.
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Summary: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black
It was always going to be hard to adapt Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series into a movie. The first problem is it’s a seven book series with ties into other books that put it in the double digits and no one really likes the first one. They couldn’t just go in order and this gets way too dense to pack into one movie. There were ways to get around this but the people behind The Dark Tower made every bad decision you can make when it comes to adapting weird and offbeat source material. It takes pieces of the rich mythology that fans have poured over for years and sprinkles them throughout an uninspired 95 minutes that somehow feels so much longer than it actually is.
There is nothing good that comes from a movie that is under two hours and feels much longer than it is. The Dark Tower is a structural mess that falls apart when you think about it for more than five seconds. The movie takes way too long to get going and spends far too much time trying to set up its own complicated mythology to make Roland (Idris Elba), Jake (Tom Taylor), or The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) anything other than broad caricatures that fail to connect with the audience. The movie feels almost halfway over before we even meet Roland and even then he doesn’t feel any more alive or three dimensional than Jake’s drawings of him.
This is all a shame because the cast does a fine job when they are given things to do. Elba is entirely believable as a gunslinging action man and the few moments when he’s able to really show off his skills are rather entertaining to watch. McConaughey is clearly having a ton of fun as the Man in Black and Taylor is doing what he can with a terrible version of Jake. It’s not offensively bad by any stretch of the word, it’s not even incompetent, but much like the first book it’s a slog to get through when it really shouldn’t have been. The pieces were all there to make a great adaptation and instead of taking the time to figure out how they fit together everyone involved just forced them to fit and called it a day.
The Dark Tower is the kind of adaptation that is going to make fans of the source material enraged because it veers so far from what brought them to the theater in the first place. As for everyone else they will likely leave a little confused as to why fans of the books have been so excited about this movie. The only good thing that will come out of this is that people who haven’t read the books will want to. That’s the only positive to come out of this forgettable and mediocre mess of a movie.
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