This is not The Dark Tower you’re looking for especially if you are a Stephen King fan. What should have been a movie that would have started The Dark Tower franchise and possible a series that explored all the Dark Tower Novels. But unfortunately, that’s not what we got. In the end all we have is a 90 minute action movie with some elements of the Dark Tower series with two great actors that somewhat hold the movie together. Honestly, this movie should have been just called The Gunslinger and The Man in Black… the movie would have made more sense then to someone who has never read the novels and didn’t need any of the mythology explained because it was just a good action movie.
The movie was disappointing for those of us that love the series. For the first timers, the movie is neither good or bad… just simply adequate. The kind of movie one should wait and rent at Red Box for a $1.50. Now I wasn’t entirely disappointed by the movie. Idris Elba was great as the gunslinger. He is the perfect leading man and believable as a warrior. Matthew McConnahey was great as the villain. I didn’t think he could pull it off, because he always seems to play a genuine hero that finds a way to do the right thing. They are the strongest part of the movie. What also works is the action. The fight choreography was fantastic, especially the shooting. But all of this is not good enough to make a good movie.
The biggest problem with The Dark Tower is its lack of mythology. The movie is an hour and thirty five minutes and doesn’t have time to really explain much of the mythology of The Dark Tower series or even one book. The only thing we really know is a Gunslinger is trying to stop the man in black for killing his father, there are parallel worlds, and a Dark Tower helps protect the universe. But of course, there is so much in the books and the backstory is rich with narrative…hence a great mythology. I feel like if they had spent 20 or 30 minutes really going into the mythology even through flashbacks then the story would have made more sense and make the audience more invested in the story. And because we really don’t know anything about the backstory, this movie just becomes an action movie that’s just as entertaining as it is forgettable.
The Dark Tower is entertaining for an hour and a half and will wow you with great action scenes, but can never be considered a great movie despite good performances by Idris Elba and Matthew McConnahey. There performances are wasted because this movie should be so much more, but lacks any of the mythological components to make a great story. The Dark Tower really should have been developed for a 10 episode TV series much like Game of Thrones, where 1 book is told in a single season. The Dark Tower is not worth the price of a movie ticket… maybe just the price of a rental. This movie is adequate at best and you will probably forget that this movie was ever made after you see it.