Saturday, 24 February, 2018

'The Dark Tower' review: Incoherent to all but Stephen King fans

Matthew McconaugheyReuters Matthew McconaugheyReuters
Lamar Ellis | 04 August, 2017, 01:38

But when two arrive to retrieve him, Jake observes a feature in their faces from his dreams: the stitches of false skin. Good and evil ultimately collide in an ultimate battle in which only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

"When The Dark Tower just relies on McConaughey's dead-eyed creepiness, the alienness of Roland's homeland of Mid-World, and Jake's struggle to reconcile reality and fantasy, it at least finds an emotional balance that carries the story forward".

This film is pulling from a book series consisting of more than eight novels and yet it feels as though it was ripped out of a short young adult novel, which is unfortunate considering 2005's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" proves this can be done effectively.

The Dark Tower is out in the United Kingdom on August 18. The Dark Tower has been in production for around ten years in some form or another.

Runtime: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

Instead of fleshing out backstory, mythos and true character development, the movie starts in second gear, asking the audience to fill in the blanks and not ask deeper questions. Howard reportedly offered Arcel input on the music while co-writer and producer Akiva Goldsman helped the craft the final film. In Roland's past there were another three characters, two his friends and one the one and only love of his life.

More bad news, however, as the first reviews that have trickled out present the film as a tiresome disappointment without any set audience: incomprehensible to newbies, and wildly unfaithful and simplistic to fans of King's books. "The Dark Tower" also serves as a central clearing house for Stephen King mythology, with references to "The Shining", obviously, but also cameo appearances by Cujo the dog, Christine the vehicle, the monsters from "The Mist", and other creatures under the cultural bed. The name comes from King's inspiration, the Robert Browning poem "Child Rolande to the Dark Tower Came", and King's Roland has a grim quest of his own: to avenge the Man in Black for murdering his father. If this movie fails, I sincerely hope he isn't the one who gets blamed, or that decision makers in Hollywood use it as the reason not to cast him as the lead in other blockbuster tentpoles.

It's hard to fault Elba or McConaughey for their performances. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. Much of the The Dark Tower's charm - and there is charm to be found - lies in Taylor's Jake (and, perhaps surprisingly, in Michael Barbieri's supporting turn as Jake's friend Timmy), particularly in Jake's dynamic with Elba's Gunslinger. Jake has awful nightmares and is compelled to draw the people and places who populate his bad dreams; his mom and his stepfather believe Jake has psychological problems, perhaps as a result of his father's death.

There he quickly runs into Roland, the stone-faced, duster-wearing gunslinger with a six-shooter in a land with minimal guns or bullets.

The Dark Tower does not follow the book saga exactly but is a mix between an adaptation and sequel.

The Dark Tower is told from Jake's point of view.

Even though reviews for The Dark Tower are looking pretty grim as of now (ours will be coming shortly), it seems that the powers that be are still interested in making the TV series a reality.

Take the Dark Tower of the title for example, a curiously wilted edifice that supposedly determines the fate of the universe.

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