The Dark Tower tells the story of a teenager in New York, Jake (Tom Taylor), having visions of a gunslinger, a “Man in Black” and some massive dark tower that is under attack. It turns out Jake’s dreams are the reality we live in, which involves multiple universes all being overseen by The Dark Tower. The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) wants to tear everything down, and gunslinger Roland (Idris Elba) aims to stop him. Jake gets whisked into another realm, “Mid-World”, and comes to assist Roland with his quest.
RATED: The Dark Tower is rated M for science fiction themes and violence.
AUDIENCE: Fans of Stephen King’s enormously popular series of Dark Tower novels. Also, lead actors Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba are draw cards, and The Dark Tower does also present itself as an exciting new film franchise that adult viewers will want to be part of. Shame that it turns out to be an underwhelming misfire.
WHAT’S GOOD: Not very much. Best to be said for The Dark Tower is it’s not as dull or infuriating as some of 2017’s biggest duds (I’m looking at you, Pirates of the Caribbean 5 and A Dog’s Purpose). There also are plenty of ripe concepts and potential plot threads which are glimpsed during this lukewarm “adventure”. But they all fail to come to the boil.
WHAT’S NOT: The Dark Tower is an epic fail because it manages to squander great source material (Stephen King’s books about other universes, good and evil, and the meaning of everything), a great cast and great screen potential. As a novice to The Dark Tower universe, I was bored and left to seriously wonder what all the fuss has been about King’s books. The Dark Tower proves to be painfully simplistic as a 90-minute movie, complete with sigh-worthy dialogue, an anaemic plot, sleepwalking actors and subdued visuals.
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: Somehow, a potent battle between light and darkness has been undercooked. This flimsy fantasy only winks at bigger themes about what evil is capable of and whether there is some cosmic battle raging between opposing forces. The Man In Black character played by McConaughey is, basically, The Devil yet the power or terror he might confront us with is nowhere to be seen. Plus, one of the key elements of King’s novels also has not made it to our screens – Roland wants to reach The Dark Tower, so he can interrogate whoever it is that controls the universe from it. The Dark Tower movie doesn’t touch that idea, even though it sounds like it could have led to a cool investigation into one person’s desire to question “God”. I’m still amazed at how this disappointing movie makes a mess of such incredible material.
RELEASE DATE: Now showing