The Dark Tower
review by Bobby Blakey
Stephen King’s epic series The Dark Tower has had a bumpy road to get made into a feature film. Over the years there have been numerous people attached to the project, but it seemed like it was never going to happen. After all the years of struggle the film is finally hitting the big screen starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey with director Nikolaj Arcel at the helm, but could it offer up the adaptation fans have been wanting or should they have kept the portal closed?
The Dark Tower follows The Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, roams an Old West-like landscape where "the world has moved on" in pursuit of the man in black as well as the fabled Dark Tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world. Before speaking on the film itself I want to point out that I have never read any of the books by Stephen King so have no reference to whether or not this film is accurate in its connection to the book, so my review will be speaking just on the film as it stands alone. I love all things Idris Elba and a pretty big fan of McConaughey so I was interested to see what they had in store for these interesting looking characters. The trailer offered up some cool directions and action pieces so it really bummed me out to come out of it a bit disappointed. There are both good and bad aspects to the film, but sadly the bad outweigh the good.
Both Elba and McConaughey are great in the film and would have no doubt been a lot more fun to watch with a more cohesive film. The issues here seem more of a stuffing a lot into the film situation without ever offering much at all. The story focuses more on the young boy played by Tom Taylor which tends to sideline everyone else for the first half of the movie. When the film began and it became clear the direction they were going I was a bit concerned, but still kept and open mind. Until we finally get Elba and Taylor together the film is moving at a snail’s pace with very little going on. I know it is meant to set everything up for their ultimate meeting, but I just never could get into this first half.
Once we get to some of the action it has some fun moments most notably watching Elba blasting away demons and other characters. The way he handled the guns and did the variety of reloads was yet another fun aspect to a cool character that was being overshadowed by a fairly uninteresting world around him. McConaughey was a bit of the same as he chewed up every scene he was in creating a great villain that is dispatched way too easily and quick in the end. I so wanted to love this movie despite the negative reviews and while I didn’t dislike it as much as some, especially hardcore fans of the books I found it to just be all together forgettable. If by some chance it makes enough money to warrant a sequel I hope they restructure it to get these great characters something more interesting to be a part of.
Now Sony is bringing the film home and not only includes the film but also bonus features including deleted scenes, bloopers and featurettes taking you behind brining this iconic King series to life. Grab your copy of The Dark Tower available now on Digital HD and then on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on October 31st from Sony Home Entertainment.