Thursday, July 9, 2020

Review The Dark Tower (2017)

#TheDarkTower (2017): 5/10

The Dark Tower is based on the novel series by Stephen King, and stars Idris Elba (‘Luthor’) as the mysterious Gunslinger, sworn to protect the Tower, and Matthew McConaughey (‘Interstellar’) as the positively evil Man in Black, who hatches a plan to bring the Dark Tower crashing down.

The film had been in production hell for a number of years prior to its release, finally landing at Sony, who clearly saw the project as the beginnings of a possible film franchise, but with the runtime clocking in at a measly 94 minutes, there’s little time to really introduce or explore the realm of Mid-World and flesh out its history, making it difficult to really feel invested in it. Aside from the Gunslinger and Jake, a young boy on the run from the Man in Black’s accomplices, many of the characters share the same fate, with little or no explanation into their character. What we’re left with is a fantasy film that feels rushed and thrown together.

The role of the Man in Black isn’t a particularly testing one for McConaughey, who mostly coasts through his performance. Idris Elba gives us a deep and meaningful performance, but there’s no weight behind his feelings of vengeance toward the Man in Black. Save for short dream sequence involving the two, there is no real base for the pair’s relationship, which makes for an anticlimactic finale.

The Dark Tower is a passable film, but almost forgettable, which is a shame. There’s no reason why it couldn’t have become the next big film universe for avid cinemagoers to really get invested in, but just like ‘Mortal Engines’, it never really feels carefully thought out, the studio thinking five or ten steps ahead without being sure to get the first, most important step right first.

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