First of all let me just say that The Dark Tower is a movie from a book franchise (written by Stephen King) I’ve never read any of and didn’t really know anything about going into this. The other thing about this movie is not it’s actually a sequel to that book series, not an adaptation. Which I didn’t know until after I had walked out of the theater and the friend I saw it with told me. Also this movie is actually a high budget TV pilot released as a movie.
Yea… That’s a lot of weird baggage for a movie to carry, but how was it?
Honestly it’s just kinda cliché and boring. The weirdness of it’s place within a larger franchise is probably the most interesting thing about it.
The friend I saw it with described it as a movie for people who had read the books, which makes sense since it’s sequel that builds on the story that played out there. But to me it felt like a movie made for anyone, because it was so generic and straightforward. There’s stuff going on here that you only know if you read the books, but the movie doesn’t even hint at that stuff to the point where I feel like anyone who read the books is watching the film in an imagined reality.
Which I guess is neat?
Whatever the appeal of the book series is, this movie certainty doesn’t make a good case for it as being anything other than generic fantasy. Based on the reviews and the fact that this is a sequel I would expect this to be more incomprehensible, but it’s actually just very straightforward. When I think of movies made for book readers I think of the Harry Potter movies which exist as mostly just a collection of scenes, they deliver the key scenes book readers want to see and don’t worry so much about the connective tissue tying those scenes together.
The thing The Dark Tower omits, from what I understand, is the overall plot of the series. We blow through the strict events of this film and then there’s a promise of adventures to come. There’s nothing confusing about the events, they’re just not unique or compelling either. The confusing part is just that you go “There has to be more to this franchise than this right?”
Although it is weird to me that both our hero and villain are dressed in black when the villain is specifically called “The Man in Black.” I also felt like his Mathew McConaughey-ness was more noticeable than his wardrobe choice.
It’s not a terrible movie, and it’s a breezy 95 minutes. I like Idris Elba. But this is a TV pilot that’s focused purely on plot and not whatever idea is going to try and carry the ongoing series. It’s not a mess, it’s competent, and for me that’s the final nail in its coffin. It’s just forgettable.