The Dark Tower: Movie Review
'The Dark Tower'
Cast: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Tom Taylor, Jackie Haley, Abbey Lee, Katheryn Winnick, Michael Barbieri, Claudia Kim
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Hollywood is certainly running out of coherent ideas if it has to resort to mythical journeys that don't make any sense. Based on a series of books( in all seven books and a few comics) by Stephen King, collectively referred to as 'The Dark Tower', this film adaptation begins with an opening line "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." That line might have made it to meaningful if what followed after that was evocative enough of the books it is based on. But that was not to be.
Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last of an honorable warrior clan called the Jedi Knights a.k.a the Gunslingers and an evil sorcerer Walter o'Dim a.k.a The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) embark on a journey to reach a mystical tower that can save their decaying world. While both the characters are iconic because of their history on the written page, they just don't assume as much importance on the cinema screen.
The problems of course begin with the fact that three scriptwriters Anders Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel, Akiva Goldsman set out to reimagine a cinematic universe slightly divergent from the author's vision. This is meant to be the opening for a brand new franchise but it's not even close to spectacular to draw in even the diehard Stephen King fan into it's orbit. Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), one of the characters in the books has been given far more prominence here in order to streamline the story for a cinematic retelling. He is the troubled New York teen who actually telling us the story. Jake has prophetic visions of both the Gunslinger Roland (Elba) and the Man in Black Walter (McConaughey) and can also read minds and other things( like in 'The Shining'). Walter wants to use him to destroy the tower that is keeping order in the universe. Roland, Walter, and eventually Jake cross between worlds through portals. Jake and Roland team up, but whether it's for vengeance or for saving lives is questionable?
The film reportedly overshot it's budget, had many reshoots and re-edits and this can be evidenced in the run-of-play itself. It's largely incoherent, there are sequences that look half-done and character's that look much older than when they started off. To top that, the writing and plotting doesn't work out as plausible. The attempts to keep the multiple book multiverse lean and mean fails miserably. The metaphysics involved sound quite stupid too. It all sounds so off-putting and uninteresting. But for Idris Elba's impressive screen presence and Matthew McConaughey's crafty one, this would have been even more listless and uninspiring an experience!
Watch 'The Dark Tower' Trailer
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