Cinematic Releases: O Discordia! : The Dark Tower (2017) - Reviewed

Let me get this out of the way first: I'm a huge Stephen King fan, a Constant Reader and The Dark Tower is my all time favorite book series. I was over the moon when they announced this film and overjoyed that Idris Elba was playing Roland Deschain. Even more exciting was that this adaptation was taking place after the books utilizing the franchise's own canon! What could possibly go wrong? The answer, sai, is everything.

The main issue with the film is the length and the pacing. We are introduced to Roland, a brooding Gunslinger, Jake (Tom Taylor), a young boy who is having dark visions, and Walter (Matthew McConaughey), an evil sorcerer bent on destroying the universe. The Dark Tower is a linchpin of sorts that keeps the universe together while also protecting it from the demons who would try to enter the various dimensions and destroy it. However, this story is damn near incomprehensible due to the breakneck pacing and terrible editing that plagues every part of this film. The only reason it made any semblance of sense to me is because I have thousands of pages of backstory under my belt to assist me with putting together the puzzle pieces.

Idris did the best he could with the abysmal writing that was given to him and he is the sole light in the darkness. His version of Roland is gruff like it needed to be with a touch of royalty and a side of spaghetti western. McConaughey is less chaotic evil and more used car salesman, slumming and slithering his way through every scene with hammy overacting. As a villain he isn't intimidating and more often than not just comes off as silly. Taylor as Jake isn't too bad and I did like the innocence he brought to the role. Unfortunately, none of these actors are given anything of quality to work with so their efforts are for naught.

Sorry kid. I'm not your dad. Stop following me. 

The Dark Tower feels like they took all the books, put them into a blender and just poured out the results into a mish-mash of concepts without context. Sure, there are a lot of Stephen King easter eggs thrown around as window dressing, but what do they actually add to the narrative?! The cinematography and CGI looks uninspired and cheap and the music was underwhelming as well. What was once a dark horror/sci-fi/western is now a generic and unoffensive Young Adult flick, palatable to nobody and focus group tested within an inch of its life.

Kiss me, you bastard!

This is Stephen King's opus and it deserved the royal treatment. I'm not a stickler that needs a 100% faithful adaptation of source material, but this isn't even a good film on its own merits. It could have been amazing and instead it has forgotten the face of its father and just become a colossal disappointment.

Share it. Be our hero.

--Michelle Kisner