The Dark Tower
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Idris Elba: Roldand Deschain/ The Gunslinger
Matthew McConaughey: The Man in Black/ Walter O’Dim
Katheryn Winnick: Laurie Chambers
Tom Taylor: Jake Chambers
Jackie Earle Haley: Sayre
After negative reviews and also a rating of 18% all odds were against The Dark Tower; nothing looked good for the movie. Going up against the reigning two week champion Christopher Nolan’s WWII Dunkirk and Detroit which is based on the true events of the Detroit riots; nothing looked good for The Dark Tower this weekend. As the weekend ended the movie viewers thought otherwise. The Dark Tower now stands as the number one movie at the box office! With a respected $19.5 million The Dark Tower looks to keep moving forward as the weeks come.
The Dark Tower is a book of series from the great author Stephen King stretching 8 books with also side stories connecting to the main series. The first book dates back to 1982 named The Gunslinger where The Man in Black fled into the desert and The Gunslinger followed. It was later adapted by Marvel comics and published in 2007.
The movie starts off as a young boy named Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has been having dreams for over a year about a place called Mid-World, and in this place The Gunslinger and The Man in Black have been at war with each other for many years. The Man in Black wants to destroy The Dark Tower, but The Gunslingers were the protectors from the darkness. Only Roland is left to stop Walter. As Jake draws what he sees and tries to explain what is happening to earth and the reasons for the earth quakes; no one believes him. His mother has even been sending him to see a doctor who blames these “dreams” as a way to cope with the death of his father. Tom Tayler really shows us the struggle of no one believing in him and the hopes that things may be true; that struggle of being an outcast from everyone and beginning to doubt yourself as you find yourself alone in the world was really good acting. As things begin to unravel Jake finds a doorway to Mid-World where he goes off to an adventure that will change his life forever.
Idris Elba plays Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger in a place that has “moved on” called Mid-World. All other Gunslinger’s and everyone that Roland has loved have all died by the evil being called The Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) or as the Gunslinger call’s him… Walter. What are the true motives of The Man in Black for Roland? Idris Elba plays The Gunslinger the best he can, showing his vengeful side and his care for no one except his mission to kill The Man in Black. As Jake and Roland first meet The Gunslinger cares for no one only himself, even pulling his guns out and attempting on leaving him in the desert to die by himself. As the movie moves forward, Elba and Taylor’s dynamic flourishes, show casing the bond the two have as the journey goes on; they must work together. There was even a nice scene of Roland showing Jake how to shoot and showing him how to say The Gunslinger code.
The real actor who shines in The Dark Tower is Matthew McConaughey as The Man in Black. He shows his ruthlessness and embodies the character perfectly. Sending his minions across dimensions to pick up different children, he tries to use their “shine” (telepathic power) to tear down The Dark Tower. The Tower is the center of what holds all the worlds together standing from before time; protecting the worlds from the darkness that lurks outside of them. With The Dark Tower down The Man in Black will win his war versus The Gunslinger and let The Crimson King rule. Matthew McConaughey walks and steals every scene that he is in; he owns the screen when his time is up. He truly shows off his villainy as he uses his powers making people die, telling them to kill themselves, or hate each other.
Watching The Gunslinger shoot with perfect precision while running around and reloading with super human speed was amazing. His last battle versus The Man in Black might be one of the coolest fight scenes I have seen in a Western/Sci-fi/Action movie. The Man in Black was just too good for The Gunslinger.
What was upsetting in the movie was the lack of The Tower and Mid-World itself. It felt like they went safe and did not want to show too much of what could have been an amazing visual experience. They focused way too much in New York City and showing what was happing to Mid-World from the acts at The Tower. For being a movie of different dimensions, everyone looked pretty much human. Only a few handful of characters in The Man in Blacks group looked like monsters. Why so many human like people? Also, while Jake and Roland are at the ruins of an old amusement park called Pennywise (Yep… IT), a demon attacks them and it hurt my heart. The scene was super dark and you could not really see what was going on. It brought back really bad memories from the time I went to see Alien versus Predator: Requiem. God it was dark! In some parts the CGI was good, but towards the end there was a fight scene where Roland (Idris Elba) and Sayre (Jackie Earle Haley) land on a bus and they crash everywhere… it was not good.
The Dark Tower had a few bumps here and there, but as an overall movie it is pretty good for families to watch together. For the people who are coming in new to this series, it is a great opportunity for them to go and read the series. But for fans that have been waiting for a long time… it hits nowhere near where they wanted it.
Final Thoughts: Getting past a few bad things, the movie was a good adventure film. Now go to your nearest book store and get yourself into one of the greatest series ever created starting with The Gunslinger (I’m almost done the second book, The Drawing of Three). In these books it revealed that all of Stephen King’s books are connected by The Dark Tower. If you’re a Stephen King fan, you should go watch The Mist on Spike TV Thursdays at 10pm eastern time, get ready for IT that is coming out in a few months, and Castle Rock that will be on Hulu sometime at the end of this year or early next year; the show will intertwine many of King’s work. Damn… I’m ready, are you?