Movies adapted from books often either eclipse the book’s story or fail to live up to the imagination of the author. The Dark Tower, unfortunately, is one that failed to live up to the expectations of many.
The 2017 movie is a fantasy adventure film is a based on Stephen King’s epic series of novels. With movies such as Star Wars and Star Trek taking the world by storm over the years, people expected The Dark Tower to at least live up to the level of these two or at least try and eclipse them. However, Danish director Nikolaj Arcel and his team failed to do either of the above and only managed to deliver a short and disappointing film that left many expecting more.
Apparently, the movie is 95 minutes which is a little odd because fantasy movies often have much to explain. Stephen King is one of the world’s most popular and successful writers whose movies often receive extensive publicity. King’s work is often detailed, and this poses a problem to movie directors. Despite the movie’s flaws, the lead actors did manage to salvage it and give critics one or two positive things to talk about. They include Idris Elba, Mathew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor. With the exception of Tom Taylor whose role was indeed a cliché meant to satisfy Hollywood’s use of surrogates, Idris Elba and Mathew McConaughey did their best to give audiences a good movie. Elba’s and McConaughey’s acting quality made me wish the movie focused more on their battle and less on Taylor.
The Dark Tower is a movie with a simple plot. The protagonist in the movie Jake (Taylor), is a 12-year old boy whose life would take a turn after he realizes that his dreams depict a world that exists. Jake started having nightmares which were quite vivid. Instead of ignoring them, Jake decides to sketch what he sees in his sleep. He draws the battles in the far-away galaxy and then pins them on his bedroom wall. As the movie goes on, Jake finds a teleport machine which takes him to the galaxy he so vividly saw in his dreams. While on the other planet, Jake meets the people in his visions, Roland (Idris Elba), a sharpshooter, and Walter (Mathew McConaughey), the sorcerer. These two have been engrossed in a battle for a long time, and Walter wants to destroy the Dark Tower while Roland is on a mission to stop him.
As stated earlier, Roland (Idris Elba) and Walter (Mathew McConaughey) did their job well. First of all, Roland is the surviving member of his family whose task was to defend the planet. He is very good with his guns and also seems reserved and focused on his mission. His image helps to tell the story behind his role and the burden of being the remaining member of his legendary family or the gunslingers. On the other hand, Walter (Mathew McConaughey) is also just as good in his role as the slick sorcerer whose mission is to destroy the Dark Tower. Walter is focused on his mission and dispenses anyone who is against him or his mission. However, when it comes to Taylor, one feels like his role was not well established. As the movie continues, Jake’s role becomes more confusing and having his as the main character seemed like a huge miss.
First of all, Roland’s outfit is indeed appropriate and suits his character as the only remaining badass gunslinger. Walter cuts the figure and character of a humorous yet badass antagonist, and his outfits also seem appropriate which is reminiscent of his reference as The Man in Black. The camera angles are indeed deep and help to tell the story as well. In one scene, the movie shows a peaceful Gilead before it fell to the Crimson King. Another scene that also shows that the camera angles and shot helped to tell the story is when Jake makes his way to Mid-World.
There are a few issues in the film that will leave many asking many questions. First of all, the movie does not factor in the people who have not read Stephen King’s series of books. This is because the movie mentions things like the Crimson King, the house of demons, and a beam-quake. These things are not explained which might leave a person confused. The soundtracks are quite fitting and seem to flow with the story.
The themes in the movie include hope, revenge, and a quest for destruction. Roland was fighting a losing battle, and even though he had crazy skills with the gun, Walter presented a worthy villain. His home, the city of Gilead, fell to the Crimson King and his desire for revenge was not hidden from the start of the movie. He wanted to continue with his role as the remaining gunslinger, but first, he had to take care of business, that is, Walter. The theme of hope is depicted when he meets with Jake. Initially, it was almost impossible to defend the Dark Tower, but after he met and knew Jake, he realized that he had finally found the key to his mission. The theme of destruction is accurately depicted through Walter or the Man in Black. Walter is a man whose mission is to cause pain and bring destruction to anything and everything that seems to be against him or his mission. His persona fits his role perfectly, and he maintains it throughout the movie.
In conclusion, The Dark Tower is a movie that felt people feeling cheated. Fans of Stephen King have the right to feel deceived because the movie was first short and lacked a deep plot to explain everything especially to people who have not read the series by Stephen King. Compared to the likes of Star Wars and Star Trek, The Dark Tower is a huge flop with the exception of Roland (Idris Elba) and Walter (Mathew McConaughey). Movie enthusiasts who are interested in action movies will find it interesting because of the fight scenes. However, people who have not read the series by King should avoid it. Furthermore, the ones who have read King’s series will be disappointed, but if you are a fan of Idris Elba or Mathew McConaughey, you will enjoy their acting.
Also note that movie review writing is not as easy as watching a movie and having an opinion about it. It involves a considerable amount of work, and at times reviewers are forced to re-watch a movie several times while taking note of everything. So, take up the challenge and write a review on the next movie you will watch.