The Dark Tower – Film Review

Rating : 2 / 5 stars

What’s it about?

The Dark Tower is the film adaptation of The Dark Tower book series by Stephen King and is directed by Nikolaj Arcel, starring Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey and Tom Taylor among others.
The film follows Jake chambers, a teenager who is having dreams of an alternate reality where a gunslinger is hunting the Man in Black, a sorcerer who is killing little children to bring down a huge tower which stands in the centre of the universe. Thinking him to be insane, his parents commit him to a special school. Not wanting to go to the asylum he runs away from home, only to get sucked into the very world he has been dreaming of. Realizing the truth about the tower and the children, he must now team up with the gunslinger and find a way to stop the Man in Black.
How they manage to do that and what different obstacles they face is what the film is about.

What’s Good?

The concept of the story seems fresh and original and worthy of a big screen adaptation. Some of the action sequences, especially the gunslinger action is good. The film manages to keep the viewer mildly engaged for most of its runtime.

What’s Not?

The story has a lot of potential, but is sadly underdeveloped and has not translated well onscreen. The world building in the film feels like an afterthought and this stops the viewer from investing fully in the proceedings. There are so many questions that pop into the viewer’s mind while watching the film, but none of them are satisfactorily explained. Apart Tom Taylor as Jake, the other two leads are saddled with one dimensional characters, and even though they try their best, these characters feel more comic book than real.
VFX is mediocre, and looks very early 2000’s in some places. Also the length on the film feels too short for this story and many parts of the film feel rushed.

Performances

Idris Elba as the gunslinger brings a certain amount of gravitas to a role that is otherwise one dimensional. He brings out the pain of his character and his thirst for revenge very well. Matthew McConaughey doesn’t have as much screentime as one would expect, and this results in his role being one note. The film would have benefited had McConaughey been allowed to go a little overboard and create a proper menacing villain, but as things stand, his character feels very bland. Tom Taylor as Jake Chambers is good and gets to flex his acting muscles a little. Rest of the cast is adequate.

Final Word
An original fantasy film that does not live up to its potential, this film is a lazy Sunday afternoon watch for genre fans.


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