The Dark Tower

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Movies - – Ter­ence Toh

(★★✩✩✩)

IN The Dark Tower, there are many worlds that are spread across the uni­verse. Hope­fully, one of those other worlds has a ver­sion of this movie that is en­ter­tain­ing to watch, be­cause the one we got is a flat and dull mess.

The Dark Tower is the long-an­tic­i­pated film adap­ta­tion of Stephen King’s novel se­ries of the same name. The books tell the tale of Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), a bada** gun­slinger who is sworn to pro­tect The Dark Tower, a myth­i­cal build­ing that sup­ports all the worlds.

Wow, you may say. That char­ac­ter sounds re­ally cool!

Sadly, he only shows up in the flesh af­ter a quar­ter of the movie. Au­di­ences must first suf­fer through the sub­plot of Jake Cham­bers (Tom Tay­lor) a young boy who is hav­ing strange pre­mo­ni­tions of dis­as­ter.

Jake teams up with Roland to pro­tect the Dark Tower; soon, it is dis­cov­ered he is Spe­cial and has an im­por­tant role to play. (Be­cause we don’t have enough Cho­sen One nar­ra­tives al­ready.)

Op­pos­ing Jake and Roland is the Man in Black. No, not Johnny Cash, but a pow­er­ful sor­cerer played by Matthew Mc­Conaughey, who is as generic an evil vil­lain as they come.

The Man wants to de­stroy the Dark Tower and rule the var­i­ous worlds. Why? Be­cause he’s evil, lah! The film never re­ally both­ers to ex­plain his mo­ti­va­tions.

And in a sense, that is the big­gest is­sue with The Dark Tower: it never fleshes out its world prop­erly.

The movie has many cool con­cepts – you have psy­chic chil­dren, shape-shift­ing mon­sters, guardians with guns forged out of leg­endary swords! But they are all in­tro­duced in a line or two and then abruptly dis­missed to make way for the next plot de­vel­op­ment. At some points, it feels like the story was gen­er­ated by draw­ing ran­dom fan­tasy cliches out of a hat.

Per­for­mance-wise, Elba and Mc­Conaughey play their char­ac­ters well, and are the only rea­sons to watch this.

Book fans will prob­a­bly be dis­ap­pointed at how far the movie strays from King’s work, while new­com­ers might be un­der­whelmed.

All in all, this tower feels more like a dun­geon of de­spair.

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