Fans of Stephen King, witness disappointment! The Dark Tower movie adaptation by Nikolaj Arcel is an undercooked meal that fails to do the book the justice it deserves. Hell, it even doesn’t stand as a good movie on its own. If it only had some eye popping action to shoot it forward, the movie would have been entertaining at least. But it is all so limited that you are forced to blurt out, “That’s it?” All this technology, and we let it all go to waste!
The movie is quite flippant in terms of its colossal import in the world of fantasy. Characters in the movie don’t evoke empathy. You fail to connect and the movie fragments into something insubstantial and forgetful even though it has a huge name of Stephen King in its backdrop.
Glib Direction of The Dark Tower Movie
The Dark Tower is paced too fast for a movie that calls for meticulous reflection. You want to be able to be in it, to feel what a child is going through. This brings to mind the extraordinary relatable tale of A Monster Calls. But The Dark Tower movie fails to make it to that enclave. Well if it couldn’t have possibly even reached that level of child’s mastication, at least it could have tried to connect. We don’t feel much agony of a child trying to make people listen in a world that’s secretively run by monsters.
Introduction of the character Gunslinger played by Idris Elba feels so bland that you fail to understand how big they were or used to be. And that how important it was to be the righteous last man standing in a world that was about to be overrun by dark forces. Then there is the dark force – the Man in Black, Walter played by Matthew McConaughey, who plays a convincing smug villain without badass lines that we all know how brilliantly he aces.
You can’t stop what’s coming. Death always wins.
All the shallowness in dialogues written and the way things get directed take away the joy and thrill, and the out-worldliness that the movie should have banked on in the first place.
There’s no western feel to the movie, although it should have been something to do with that as originally thought of by Stephen King. The Dark Tower movie mixes a lot of Stephen King novels to spit out an insipid work that is very easy to forget.
Plot of The Dark Tower Movie (Spoilers Ahead)
To begin with, we have a kid named Jake Chambers played by Tom Taylor who is having visions about a Man in Black, a Dark Tower, and a Gunslinger. Nobody believes him, he is having a hard time convincing them. His shrinks are no good. He has been dealing with the death of his father, and the fact that another man has moved in his house is eating him alive too. (Just imagine the possibility of how amazing we could have turned this into dramatically!) One day being sent off to shrinks.
Everyone who walks with you dies.
One day people from a psychiatric facility arrive to put him into a rehab. He recognizes them as monsters under human skins and escapes. He ends up visiting a forsaken ramshackle house from his dream that has a portal that takes him to a different world called Mid-World. It is a dystopian backdrop that is abounding with deserts and mountains and everything you could expect in a post-apocalyptic world.
Jake ends up meeting the gunslinger from his dream Roland Deschain (Idris Elba) who has been looking for The Man in Black – Walter as well. He seeks vengeance since Walter had killed his father.
Jake discovers that there is a Dark Tower at the center of the universe which Walter intends to destroy to let the dark forces in. It can only be destroyed by the screams of psychic children. (Such beautiful thinking! Stephen King take a bow!)
The tower will fall.
Roland takes Jake to a village in Mid-world to interpret Jake’s vision with the help of a seer. Arra (Claudia Kim) helps Jake identify his true psychic abilities and tells her about his “shine” how powerful it is. Although using the shine could alert Walter about his whereabouts. Walter figures out that he needs someone like Jake to destroy the Dark Tower singlehandedly. Trying to hunt Jake down, he goes and kills his stepfather and mother. While Arra tells Roland to visit New York where Walter’s base of operations is.
Walter figures out that he needs someone like Jake to destroy the Dark Tower singlehandedly.
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 do not shoot with my hand. He who shoots with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I shoot with my mind. I do not kill with my gun. He who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father. I kill with my heart.
Trying to hunt Jake down, he goes and kills his stepfather and mother. While Arra tells Roland to visit New York where Walter’s base of operations is.
Walter sends of his minions “the Taheen” to attack Roland but he kills them all in a theatric display of action. Roland and Jake go back to New York as Jake is worried about his mother. He finds her remains at his house, and is heart broken. Roland promises to avenge them teaching him the basics of gun slinging and fighting.
You can order The Dark Tower from here:
The Final Showdown
Jake gets abducted by Walter and is strapped to a machine that uses psychic children’s shine to destroy the tower. Jake keeps resisting the machine and tells Roland about his whereabouts helping him to come for aid. Roland appears then as a final showdown happens with him and Walter.
Darkness is your weapon, guns are mine.
He shoots Walter eventually bending laws of Physics, though it looked rad, it will bewilder you. Ronan then destroys the machine saving all the other children.
Jake: It’s a hotdog.
Ronan: Savages! What breed?
When Ronan is set to return to Mid-World he asks Jake to join him which Jake accepts.
The Final Verdict
It wouldn’t be wrong to ask for a better director for The Dark Tower movie. Someone needs to reimagine things and write a better screenplay. I have even a better idea! Turn this into a slow paced and ravishing TV series, and you can engage audience all over again.
Check out the trailer of The Dark Tower here: