Daily Archives: 18-01-09

Dark Tower – ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review

Dark Tower35

It’s January, and I’m behind in my reviews again!  Alright, the next few days I’m going to try and catch up, but they’re going to be short, probably not sweet.

The Dark Tower is based on the series of books by Stephen King, which I have never read.  After seeing the movie however, I’m interested now.  When the film originally went to theatres, I had heard comments that people who had read the books wouldn’t (or didn’t) like the movie, but that people who hadn’t read them would probably like the movie. I fall into that segment. I enjoyed The Dark Tower. I watched the film at home, on Blu Ray which benefits me the bonus features.  In one interview segment, King says that this movie starts the story essentially in the middle of the book series. It was done so intentionally because the filmmakers didn’t want to have it so the audience who hadn’t read the books would feel as though they were “behind” the audiences who had read the books.  They say that they started in middle of series and let things grow from there.  It worked for me, but as I said I haven’t read the books.

Idris Elba plays Roland, the last Gunslinger, who has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter aka the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey).  The Mna in Black is trying to destroy the Dark Tower, which holds the universe (and I guess some sort of multiverse) together.  Walter has agents working on earth (and presumably other dimensions or planets) to find people who show signs of powers and to kidnap them, and use their abilities to destroy the tower.  Most of the people are children, and it does kill them… (I think, I can’t remember, it’s been a few months since I watched it, but it seems to make sense.)  Roland meets Jake (Tom Taylor), an earth boy who Walter was trying to capture because he has an exceptionally strong set of psychic powers (or “shine”), and the two set off to stop Walter, jumping back and forth from Earth to the Dark Tower dimension…

Okay, it was a pretty decent action film with some sci-fi thrown on top.  I liked the performances of both Elba and McConaughey and thought the story flowed pretty well.  There was humour, great stunts and effects, and the underlying story of good versus evil worked well within this framework.  I’d say it’s worth watching if you’re a fan of either of the leads, or an open minded fan of the source material.

Bottom Line: There were lots of references to other Stephen King works, including It, with a rusting carnival ride labelled Pennywise.

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