The Dark Tower – Does The Tower Stand Tall? – Movie Review
The Dark Tower Review
I want to start this review by admitting that I have not read the Dark Tower book series. I can’t
accurately compare it to the source material. I have, however, been told that the books span thousands
of pages, have rich characters, and an epic story so I can only assume that this movie is nothing like the
books. I also understand that the movie takes place in a sort of reset universe after the books which
would allow for changes to the storyline that could remain cannon. This intrigued me at first but after
much reflection I realized it was just an excuse to make a big CGI filled action movie that faintly
resembles a title that people may be familiar with.
I am not really worried about mentioning spoilers because honestly… I can’t think of any part of the
story that was impactful enough in the movie to spoil anything. The storyline was very basic and if you
have seen the trailer you are pretty much up to speed. The movie takes place mainly from the point of
view of Jake, a kid who is having visions of another world. His path crosses with a Gunslinger from Mid-
world named Roland who is in a constant battle with the evil Man in Black. Roland vows to kill him and
stop him from destroying the Dark Tower that holds all of the worlds together. All of this is wrapped up
and put to bed in about ninety minutes…
The length of the film may be my biggest complaint. The movie feels so oddly short that you never feel
like you get to know the characters at all. There was an awkward scene towards the end of the film
where Jake and Roland have a moment that is so incredibly unearned it is jarring. I am all about a
heartwarming ending but not when the film shows the audience zero character growth throughout. I
kept waiting for the stakes to get raised or the tension to grow but the movie never had time to let that
happen. The actual tower itself was barely shown and it just seemed more like an odd plot device than
the epic world anchor it was described as. I understand that not every movie should be some three hour
long epic but an extra half hour would have gone a long way with this movie. I am not saying it would
have saved the movie completely but it would have helped.
I didn’t totally dislike ‘The Dark Tower’. The movie offered some cool visuals and some interesting
concepts. The performances were pretty solid all around especially Matthew McConaughey as the Man
in Black. He played the role about as well as he could and it seemed like he had a lot of fun with it. He
had the occasional cheesy exposition lines to deliver but I thought he made it work the best he could.
Idris Elba seemed fine as Roland but the movie didn’t really give him enough screen time to make any
sort of an impact. The young and talented actor Tom Taylor did a great job as the main character Jake.
His character apparently had psychic powers. I knew this because the movie explained it to me every
couple of minutes to ensure that nobody forgot. The Mid-World stuff was all very interesting and
visually satisfying but the Earth stuff was bland and lifeless. In that aspect it almost reminded me of the
‘Masters of the Universe’ movie. I actually liked the numerous King references in the movie, even the
ones that felt a little forced. I think this is a movie that is more enjoyable if you are not a loyal fan of the
series. I don’t think I would call ‘The Dark Tower’ a train wreck but I would be shocked if there was a
follow up to the film. ‘The Dark Tower’ is out now in theaters.
Check out the trailer