The first movie in Stephen Kings incredible fantasy saga is another Stephen King adaptation that just does not manage to be as good as it should be.
I love The Dark Tower. I have read all of them several times and they are among the highest quality of fantasy you can find in literature these days. Therefore I was very excited when I heard that they were working on a movie adaptation of it with big names like Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey in the lead roles. Sadly the movie fails in pretty much everything.
There is so much bad about this movie that I want to focus on the one little highlight of the film first and that is Idris Elba as Roland The Gunslinger. His acting is brilliantly well composed and you end up adoring his character from the first time we see him and some of the visuals when he fires of his gun is pleasing to look at. The problem I would have liked to ask the directors is. Why is he not a main character? As brilliant as Elba is in that role he really should not play second fiddle to the whiney brat who plays Jake Chambers.
The Dark Tower is a complex piece of literature, and this movie is 90 minutes long, so to sum it up quickly. They have removed everything that makes sense. Matthew McConaugheys villain is terribly cheesy and just makes me wanna shoot myself. He is dull cheesy and fails at every attempt he has at being funny, and the rival chemistry between him and The Gunslinger feels super fake.
So why is this movie terrible? There are several things we should address. We have briefly talked about how incredibly short it is. It should definitly have been on length of The Lord of the Rings movies to do The Dark Tower justice. and it had three directors. Yes. you heard right. Three. and this is what they came up with. Danish director Nikolaj Arcels directing is so terrible it is almost cringeworthy. He does not manage to use any of the good parts of Elbas acting, and has a terrible screenplay to work with and the result is a trainwreck.
The cinematography feels incredibly confusing all throughout the film, and with portal jumping back and forth and back and forth it is hard for people who are not hardcore Dark Tower fans to know what is happening. The cinematography in the final battle between Elba and McConaughey is decent to look at.
They barely touch some of the essential parts on what The Dark Tower itself actually is, and when you have so many different directors on a project the result is going to get sloppy. The fact that the editing is also dreadfully bad to look at doesnt really help. Each scene is cut in a way that just gives a hardcore cinematophile a decent headache any day.
The Dark Tower novels are packed with many different plotlines, great characters and complex twists on each page, and of course this does not work out very well in a 90 minute film. Please do not ever make a Wheel of Time movie. The movie ends with the potential for a sequel, but I do not believe anyone would ever want to see how a potential sequel would look. This project was dead on arrival anyway.