The Dark Tower (2017)
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Jackie Earle Haley, Abbey Lee
Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel
Written by: Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel
Rating: PG-13 Running Time: 1 hr 35 min.
The Dark Tower is made up of a horrible first act, a clumsy second act, and a brilliant finale. It’s a film that teases greatness but fails because the team putting it together couldn’t wrangle the source material into content suitable for film. It’s quiet honestly a mess, but despite its many flaws, I still left the theater somewhat entertained.
On a purely visceral level, I liked the performances from Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor. I thought the chemistry between Elba and Taylor worked in a fatherly role model kind of way. The finale’s action was also very nicely put together and I appreciated Junkie XL’s score.
The film’s many failings, however, stem from the screenplay adapted from Steven King’s novel. The movie version of the story dumps the viewer into a world without providing any clues as to how the pieces fit together. It hints at a massive universe of possibilities, but barely covers the basics in order to tell a functioning story that engages the audience. This is Lord of the Rings scale material, shoehorned into a ninety-five-minute production. Any chance this film had of greatness is killed during the first twenty minutes, and despite the best efforts from the cast, it never fully recovers.
If you loved the books that inspired this film, you’re probably better off waiting for the rental to satisfy your curiosity. For everyone else, keep your expectations low. This movie doesn’t open well, but it does provide some decent thrills towards the end.
The Gunslinger’s final battle with the Man in Black.