Movie Review: The Dark Tower

November 8, 2017

 

The Dark Tower leverages obnoxiously rapid pacing and a horrible script to create a box office weapon of mass destruction, and not in a good way. We'll just pretend this one didn't happen.

 

Haven't seen a genre-fiction film this shitty since Batman vs. Superman. Hit that eject button bout a third of the way in and never looked back. Some of the cheapest dialogue I've ever heard. Elementary in its linguistic execution. You Jane, Me Tarzan. Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but still pathetic verbiage for a $60M feature film based on a Stephen King novel. I'm sorry, Stephen.

 

It had all the potential. Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, Stephen King, etc., but even Hollywood superstars and living literary legends couldn't save this film from itself. Sad to see such a cast and great CG go to waste like this. 

 

I'll admit, I'm unfamiliar with the novels. That said, I've heard superb things about this story in book form. And thus, the first thing I did after feeling the sting of this thorn-of-a-movie, was look up its ratings online. Naturally, I wasn't the least bit surprised to see a rotten tomatoes score of 16%.

 

When speculative fiction movies are this bad, they're just bad. It's not a subjective stance we're discussing, nor is it an ill-timed release date at fault. Just a really bad movie that missed so many of its key marks. More of a film school project than a flick worthy of national distribution, based on a notable novel.

 

In Mr. King's words: “The major challenge was to do a film based on a series of books that’s really long, about 3,000 pages. The other part of it was the decision to do a PG-13 feature adaptation of books that are extremely violent and deal with violent behavior in a fairly graphic way. That was something that had to be overcome, although I’ve gotta say, I thought [screenwriter] Akiva Goldsman did a terrific job in taking a central part of the book and turning it into what I thought was a pretty good movie. The TV series they’re developing now … we’ll see what happens with that. It would be like a complete reboot, so we’ll just have to see.”

 

I agree with the first two statements. I Do Not agree with what comes after that. With nearly every sentence Idris Elba's character, Roland "The Gunslinger" spoke, I cringed, and after I got tired of cringing, I firmly pressed that eject button, ending the misery and disappointment.

 

An old colleague of mine has been telling me to read the books for years, and, well, since I never got around to that, I was really hoping enjoyment of the film adaptation would be a nice consolation prize. But in the end, I was left with a good-for-nothing blue-ray I was more than happy to rush back to my local Redbox. "VERY SAD."

 

-A.C.H.

 

Image: Columbia Pictures

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