Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.
The Dark Tower is the highly anticipated film adaptation of the famous book series by author Stephen King. The embargo for The Dark Tower has lasted till the night before the film opens which is generally never a good sign. There were also rumors about trouble on set and extensive reshoots and sadly, it shows. The Dark Tower isn’t the worst movie of the year but it is also far from the best.
The first half of the Dark Tower is the worst part of the film and it never really seems to find its footing until the second act. In the first act we see Jake who is our lead character played by Tom Taylor as he is having dreams of the man in black, the gunslinger and of course the tower itself. He is also struggling to relate to other kids and his mom and step dad don’t believe him. Typical stuff here people think the kid is crazy but turns out he’s not. There’s also a few scenes with who I assume is Jake’s best friend and this kid is a seriously bad actor. We are also introduced to the man in black played by Matthew Mcconaughey and the Gunslinger played by Idris Elba. The film introduces these characters to us through a series of flashbacks and dream sequences.
One of my biggest problems with The Dark Tower is the performance by Matthew Mcconaughey who is one of my favorite actors. He came across as more of a pedophile than a villain. I’m not kidding here, his performance is dreadfully creepy. He actually whispers into a female character’s ear at one point “don’t fight it.” So creepy and just odd not what I had expected at all. We also never get any background on why he is doing what he’s doing. He wants the tower to fall but why exactly? We never actually find out exactly what his motivation is. I found this extremely frustrating mostly because this film has a 95 minute runtime. There’s no reason why there couldn’t be more added to explain the motivation of his character.
One of the few positives of The Dark Tower is Idris Elba. He owns this role and he was by far the most interesting part of the film. He and Tom Taylor have great chemistry as the two leads. Elba is the reason why this movie doesn’t fail in a disastrous manner. He is in many ways its savior and his charisma makes this movie enjoyable in some parts.
I was also disappointed by some of the action scenes in The Dark Tower. They are all shot in a very quick cutting fashion and come across like a copy of something out of the Jason Bourne films. The Dark Tower also has an ending that comes out of nowhere there is really no buildup to it due to the pacing of the film.
I feel like there is good movie buried somewhere underneath The Dark Tower. If you recast The Man in Black. You add in a director who can better helm action sequences, less studio interference and about a half an hour of some needed material and there might be a good movie somewhere here. The Dark Tower never seems to have much faith in itself and its hard to get off the ground with that kind of attitude.