Director: Nikolaj Arcel.
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba and Tom Taylor.
Stephen King is known as one of the greatest writers whose epic best-selling novels will stand the test of time. His novels also make brilliant onscreen adaptations, when done correctly. Unfortunately for The Dark Tower, it feels like director Nikolaj Arcel became flustered with the idea of execution.
The Dark Tower is a sci-fi, fantasy, western adventure, that came across more like a young adult novel type like Divergent, Hunger Games and the Maze Runner. It didn’t completely feel like I was watching a Stephen King adaptation. Understandably there are numerous books in this series which I haven’t personally read but the pacing and story telling I found was a little off and was crammed into a 95 minute adventure. This story would have been great if it was packed into 2 films or even a 2 hour spectacle with improvements on the pacing.
Idris Elba plays the Gunslinger (good), Matthew McConaughey plays the Man in Black (evil), so long story short, it’s a tale about good versus evil. Jake, played by Tom Taylor is haunted by his dreams, which are about the Gunslinger, the Man in Black and the Dark Tower which if destroyed, will potentially destroy the universe. Realising his nightmares are actually real, he teams up with the reluctant at first Gunslinger to save the world.
Elba and Taylor had a really good onscreen connection, you felt and understood their past which connected them not only in Jake’s dream, but also in reality. They both had some really great funny one liners that brought a little lightheartedness to this dark, but not dark enough tale, especially when Elba is introduced to Keystone Earth (earth). It’s always a novelty when an unknown comes to earth.
Action scenes were good and entertaining but filming was a little choppy in some of these scenes, but Elba’s reloading skills would give John Wick a run for his money. He reminded me slightly of Assassin’s Creed, if they were to ever try bringing it back to the big screen with a black Assassin. The Gunslinger’s rule was intriguing and really sticks with you. It basically explains that someone who has “forgotten the face of their father” has acted dishonourably. You’ll end up reciting it along with them.
It was good and refreshing seeing McConaughey in a different role, this time as an evil lord/god like figure. You understand the relationship between himself and Elba because of their brief history which is flash backed to us but it would have been so much better if this was expanded on. McConaughey also unfortunately did come across a bit like an evil villain from a pantomime, he just wasn’t dark enough when you know he can be. You wanted to fear this man, and you would in some scenes but because of the pacing and the cramping, he just wasn’t as scary as he should have been. This was the same problem I had with Maleficent. It’s a Disney flick and it was entertaining but it could have been way darker than it was. I assume this has to do with the rating issues hence the lack of violence and darkness in The Dark Tower.
The Dark Tower had a lot of potential but it just wasn’t executed well enough but I still quite enjoyed it for what it’s worth.