The Dark Tower follows a young boy named Jake Chambers played by Tom Taylor who has dreams about a ‘Man In Black’, a ‘Gunslinger’ and a dark tower. To investigate the source of his visions, Jake seeks out to find the Gunslinger he dreams so much about.
I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve never read Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” book series and understand that this film is an adaptation of the novel. But one shouldn’t have to read the book to understand the movie. I felt that The Dark Tower tried it’s best to be the launching pad of a possible film series, but doesn’t piece together well (and I feel this extensive plot would have been better suited to a TV series).
Idris Elba as the Gunslinger, Roland was the only silver lining of this film. The action scenes where Roland shoots around his enemies were good. I enjoyed seeing Roland become one with his guns as if they were an extension of himself. However, his relationship with Tom Taylor’s character Jake felt very forced and I didn’t feel much chemistry between them. Idris Elba tries to do well with what he’s given but is watered down by too much plot-heavy nonsense.
Portraying the role of Walter, the ‘Man In Black’, Matthew McConaughey did nothing for me. A villain is supposed to be terrifyingly evil and unstoppable. But Matthew McConaughey’s Walter felt like he was just idly there waving his hands around a lot. A good villain should have an amazing back story. When they appear on screen, you should want to hate them and cheer against them. But Walter had no depth, no character development. He’s a two-dimensional character written only as an obstacle for the protagonists. So when he appeared on screen, I felt nothing.
The animation and cinematography in this film are impressive, but visuals can only get you so far. And whilst context is important, too much context can be confusing and overwhelming.
I wanted to love this film. With a small main cast and a lot of ambition, The Dark Tower has the potential for greatness but wastes it on trying to cram too much information from its novel counterpart and sadly sells itself short.