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The Dark Tower (2017)

Review by CJ

Director:
Nikolaj Arcel

Starring:
Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor

Other notable appearances:
Jackie Earle Haley

Running time:
95 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Warcraft, The Last Action Hero 

 

Jake Chambers (Taylor) is haunted by nightmares of the Man in Black (McConaughey) killing children and using their psychic abilities to attack the dark tower. No one in his world believes Jake, but when he finds a portal to the home of the figure in his nightmares, Jake must put his own doubts aside to save everyone’s worlds.

I’ll be honest with you, dear reader, because I like you. I’ve never been able to finish a book in The Dark Tower series. I KNOW! Put any other book written by Stephen King in front of me and I will happily devour it, but I just can’t get into The Dark Tower book series. I’ve tried several times throughout the years and the result is always the same. Desertion. If there was a Stephen King Readers army, I would be courtmartialed.

So. My point is that I am reviewing The Dark Tower as a film and not as an adaptation of a book or series I have read.

For the most part, I enjoyed The Dark Tower. The overall plot is enjoyable, fast paced and doesn’t feel too long.

In fact, there were times when it felt cut short, especially in terms of backstory and character development. I found myself often wondering why, when and who, and left with more questions than I had when I came in. Because of this, the characters didn’t always elicit the appropriate response. I liked the protagonists, but I didn’t care too much about them because they were quite underdeveloped. I loved the antagonist, but his motive wasn’t well explained and I’m still not sure why he would want to do what he was trying to do.

Shout outs to the main cast. Idris Elba did a good job of portraying the wayward hero with a heart of gold. Tom Taylor wasn’t fantastic, but he is a young actor who was working alongside award winning actors with far more experience — A for effort. The absolute, no contest stand out in The Dark Tower is Matthew McConaughey who plays the villain with a smooth and calm malevolence that sends chills throughout the audience.

I loved spotting the references to other Stephen King characters, places or things. I’m positive that I didn’t catch all of them because there were so many. It is similar to the book Animalia by Graeme Base where you find new objects hidden in the images every time you read it.

Despite a few glitches, The Dark Tower is an enjoyable adventure fantasy with a great cast, decent special effects and more Stephen King homages than you can poke a Plymouth at. If you are intrigued by the idea of a fantasy/adventure take on a 90s action movie depth plot, then it’s worth spending an hour and a half with The Dark Tower.

Rating:

“I do not aim with my hand. He who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye. I do not shoot with my hand. He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind. I do not kill with my gun. He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.”

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