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| 18 August 2017 | Reply

Directed and co-written by Nikolaj Arcel
Starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Most criticisms of Nikolaj Arcel’s adaption of Stephen King’s series of The Dark Tower novels revolve around it’s cursory nature – the omitting of the meaty emotions and detail at the heart of the stories.

As someone who is unfamiliar with the source material in any format, I can attest that the story is – as expected of King – excellent.

Roland Deschain (Idris Elba – who is in every second important movie nowadays) is a gunslinger from an alternate plain (sans hat, for no good reason), and locked in an eternal battle with Walter o’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), a man with the abilities of a psychopathic Vegas magician and a desire to fell the eponymous Dark Tower, thus bringing about the end of the worlds. He’s also not shy of strolling past a loving mother and daughter and with a wave of his hand, filling the child with hate for no good reason.

o’Dim needs children with a psychic connection to bring down the Dark Tower, and when he finds Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), who is already crushed under the weight of bulling and derision, he realises he’s found the aberration whose abilities are strong enough to wreak the destruction he directs and desires.

Neither Jake nor Roland are going to take that lying down, and a battle royale ensues.

Elba and Taylor (especially) nail the tortured victims – at least, they do what they can in the screen time they have – and their interplay is the best part of the movie, whilst McConaughey is one dimensional as the bad guy with seemingly no reason nor rhyme for his desire to destroy the universe. The rest of the cast could be pretty much anyone.

Herein lies the problem with The Dark Tower: why condense the complex intricacies of a much-loved Stephen King novel series into 95 minutes?

The result is dull, confusing, and strangely soulless, as if Arcel fell asleep at the wheel halfway through, but didn’t crash – just drifted to a slow halt on the shoulder, and realised afterwards that he didn’t have enough to work with.








Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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