Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel | Produced by: Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard, Erica Huggins | Screenplay by: Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, Nikolaj Arcel | Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Claudia Kim, Fran Kranz, Abbie Lee, Jackie Earle Haley | Music by: Ton Holkenborg | Cinematography: Rasmus Vidabæk | Edited by: Alan Edward Bell, Dan Zimmerman | Production Company: MRC, Imagine Entertainment, Weed Road | Distributed by: Columbia Pictures | Official Website
Since I haven’t read this original Stephen King’s magnum opus, that he spent 35 years writing the whole seven books, I come to the cinema with full focus on the movie. In my opinion, since this is a Stephen King’s adaptation, the movie will be at least entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Moreover, they casted Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, so my expectation goes higher. Turns out, after I left the cinema, I feel stressed up about how they built the entire movie and wasting both of Elba and McConaughey’s casts.
The plot is also frustrating, so keep up with me. The Dark Tower tells us about a gifted boy named Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor), who has dreamed about a man in black (later known as Walter, plays by Matthew McConaughey). The Man in Black is actually a sorcerer who wants to bring hell to the worlds. In order to break the hell out, he needs to overthrow The Dark Tower (symbol of the universe main keeper) using the mind power of young children. On the other hand, Jake finds out how to operate the gate to another world, and later encounters The Gunslinger (the Westernized The Roundtable Knights who guard the tower) Ronald Deschain (plays by Idris Elba). The Gunslinger then knows that Jake is the boy with the strongest “shine” (mind power to overthrow The Dark Tower), and tries to save him from The Man in Black.
You know the feel when you have planned something big, like your wedding, in details for years but when it comes closer, you run out of money. Since your mom agrees to finance the wedding, you must ruin your whole imagination of perfect wedding and go with your mom’s plan. This movie is exactly like that. The effort of bringing King’s magnum opus to the big screen has been lingering since 2007, with J.J Abrams or Ron Howard are planned to direct. However, on 2015, Sony has decided to fast-track the development and the movie ends up with Arcel in director’s chair. instead of giving The Gunslinger most of the runtime, the movie is focusing on the eye of the boy.
The result is exactly like your ruined wedding. The plot is stressful and confusing. We know that The Gunslinger is our hero and The Man in Black is our villain, but instead of giving them the spotlight, the movie chooses to focus their view in the eye of the boy. The Gunslinger got really promising scenes, the most memorable must be when he shoots soldier that kidnapped Jake without looking and just trusting his instinct, but the scenes are coming in a hurry so we can’t barely enjoy his profound gunshots. The Man in Black is not better. Though he is terrifying with his ability to kill people with just one finger click away, the cinematography makes him look dull.
Elba is an A-list actor in waiting. He got his popularity grown so fast, from being Marvel’s Heimdall to Star Trek’s villain to Mandela and Luther, and the rumor of his landing as James Bond makes him look promising for the role of The Gunslinger. Though King’s fanatics criticized him of a black actor as their Westernized-Clint-Eastwood-styled Gunslinger, he did a great job and still will make you laugh with his dry humor. McConaughey, on the other side, looks more like a scary gangster than a powerful sorcerer. His terrifying magic becomes dull, and it makes his ability looks like a failed combination out of The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings. Tom Taylor, as Jake, however, seems like going through puberty that his voice is changing over one octave from one scene to another.
Overall, this movie is like going in a hurry. There will be something left behind, although you feel like you have fulfilled all the basic requirements.