New Straits Times - - Entertainment -

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.

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