Curtains Up on The Dark Tower

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Stephan King fans should start sharpening their knives.

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11 year old Jake Chambers discovers another dimension called Mid-World.  He encounters a Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, who is on a quest to reach the “Dark Tower”in a place called End-World, with the hope that he will save mankind from extinction. But an evil sorcerer named Walter o’Dim, the Man in Black, is looking for the tower as well and proves a problem for our heros.

The Shawshank Redemption, The Mist and The Green Mile. Three very successful film adaptions of Stephan King’s works. The Dark Tower is not. This is a mess of a movie that combines elements of several books in King’s fantasy opus. Once you start taking a bit from here and there, you’re left with a jumbled film that makes no sense to the audience. Director Nikolaj Arcel packs so much in this short 90 minute movie that there is no room for logic. It feels like a greatest hits reel from a 3 hour film.

This film is begging to be longer. The world they created is quite stunning. I wish we were given time to explore it. The acting in the film is also really good. Idris Elba is a perfect as the lone gunslinger, Roland Deschain. Tall, handsome, noble, cast Elba as the new James Bond right now. Matthew McConaughey eats scenery as if he were at a buffet and that is okay here. Villains have the most fun and his Man in Black is a great one. The casting of the young boy, Jake, is spot on. This newcomer, Tom Taylor, gives a fine performance.

But at 90 minutes? You can’t do justice to a multi book series by cramming its inaugural film into an hour and a half. Peter Jackson did the impossible with his LOTR trilogy. He made three impossible books into three very long but entertaining movies and didn’t sell his soul to do it. Here, with the amount of illogical disservice done to this material, whoever green lit this disaster sold his soul a long time ago.

 

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