DARK TOWER FALLS SHORT
I’M not familiar with the Stephen King novels that this movie is based on but, as a fantasy film fan, I thought it was an enjoyable watch.
With Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey heading the cast, I expected the film to be epic and dark. Although there were elements of dark fantasy, horror, scifi action and adventure, as a whole, I felt somewhat underwhelmed. Maybe it caters to a younger audience, although I’ve seen better in films from the or
Based on King’s series of eight books concocted from a variety of inspirations and set in an expansive world, it follows the adventures of The Gunslinger a.k.a. Roland Deschain (played by Elba), who is reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name character from the spaghetti western movies.
The Gunslinger is determined to prevent Walter O’Dim, a.k.a. the Man in Black (McConaughey), from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. Caught in this eternal battle is Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), one of many special children with a telepathic “shine” that Walter can use to fire at the Tower, to release evil into the world.
It’s essentially a classic story of the battle between good and evil. Viewers are introduced to Roland’s world through the eyes of Jake, who gets bad dreams of this “other” realm. Along the way, Jake’s unfortunate life situation, Roland’s dark past and Walter’s evil plans are all unveiled.
The plot is too simple with not enough drama, sense of urgency or horror, at least until the climax. Reports online stated that director Nikolaj Arcel found the books too difficult to adapt as there were too many elements to highlight. Well, now that makes sense.
Viewers will enjoy the charismatic presence of both Elba and McConaughey though. Elba’s dark and brooding persona suited the role, which made him look cool.
King introduced a cool creed that the Gunslingers go by. It begins with “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye.”
I thought the words were so poignant and spot-on that they fit the turn of events in the film well.
McConaughey was cool but a little too calm for the role of a villain. I feel it would have been better if a clear expression of evil showed on his face.
Fans and those curious enough should give this a try.