The Dark Tower
The Dark Tower
(Nikolaj Arcel, 2017)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Feeling more like a cheap TV adap rather than a big budget exploration of Stephen King's epic book series, The Dark Tower crumbles.
At least the cinematographer came off OK. The Dark Tower sure does look nice as we follow an alternate world's last Gunslinger, Roland (Idris Elba) as he romps across a dreamlike desert in an eternal battle with the Man In Black (no, not Johnny Cash but rather a scenery chewing Matthew McConaughey).
Maybe The Dark Tower would be a better film with the sound off as horrible line after horrible line sabotages this Stephen King adaptation and scuppers its chances of getting anywhere near the likes of Carrie, The Shawshank Redemption, Misery, The Shining or IT.
It's the kind of script that is populated by wafer thin characters with underdeveloped motivations and backstories that seem to speak to each other just to clarify the plot points. This colour-by-numbers approach to storytelling grates after the first 10 minutes but after an hour and a half it wears so thin you can completely see through it.
Director Nikolaj Arcel can't inject any originality or his own authorship into the proceedings either making The Dark Tower rudderless - surprising given that his previous sit in the director's chair was the excellent A Royal Affair starring Alicia Vikander and Mads Mikkelsen (who himself would've been a far better Man in Black than McConaughey). There's no hint of the grace, vibrancy or assured craftsmanship that made A Royal Affair shine here.
The result is that we struggle to care for the characters or find the effort to be attentive of their chases of each other. There's something happening amid all that running around about a universe-binding Dark Tower being under threat and if it's destroyed then it's bad news for all of us. I say just get it over with.
"The Man in Black" featurette
"The Gunslinger In Action" featurette
Deleted Scenes (exclusive to Blu-ray)
"Last Time Around" featurette (exclusive to Blu-ray)
"The World Has Moved On" featurette (exclusive to Blu-ray)
"Stephen King: Inspirations" featurette (exclusive to Blu-ray)
"A Look Through the Keyhole" featurette (exclusive to Blu-ray)