HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Apostle
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Hereditary
Cup Fever
Peril for the Guy
3 Days in Quiberon
Club, The
Best F(r)iends: Volume 1
Pili
Suspect, The
Baxter!
Dead Night
Thoroughbreds
Ghost and the Darkness, The
Strike Commando
Molly
Full Alert
Up the Academy
Darling Lili
Tehran Taboo
Follow That Bird
I, Olga Hepnarová
Finders Keepers
Breadwinner, The
All About Steve
Bad Samaritan
Dangerous When Wet
Us and Them
Rockula
King, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
   
 
  Dark Tower, The Say No Thankee-SaiBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Stars: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Taylor, Dennis Haysbert, Ben Gavin, Claudia Kim, Jackie Earle Haley, Fran Kranz, Abbey Lee, Katheryn Winnick, Nicholas Pauling, Michael Barbieri, José Zúñiga, Nicholas Hamilton, Inge Beckmann, Alfredo Narciso
Genre: Horror, Action, Science Fiction, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jake (Tom Taylor) has been having those dreams again, though nightmares would be more specific. In his sleep, he sees children taken from their everyday lives by a mysterious Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), who hooks them up to a machine which channels their psychic energy into a huge beam that shoot many thousands of miles across the sky to hit the massive Dark Tower which seems to have a significance to the universe Jake cannot grasp as of yet. Ever since his father died, he has felt terrible and under siege from strange forces, something he copes with in his drawings, but his mother is growing increasingly concerned for his mental health - especially when those dreams infect his waking life.

Wait a minute, what happened to the Man in Black fleeing across the desert and the Gunslinger following? This was the abortive first try at a version of Stephen King's epic, decades-long attempt to wrangle his mixture of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings with Sergio Leone's The Man with No Name, two trilogies that had made a huge impression on him as a young man before he even turned professional author. The results may have been sprawling, undisciplined and digressive, taking in not merely the official eight books in the series but also mentions and whole plotlines in his other works, but they were one of the most ambitious efforts ever staged by a popular writer, and those who loved The Dark Tower were truly devoted to it.

The film was another matter, a project that had been struggling to get off the ground every since the final book had been published, and by the looks of this those issues with wrangling such a vast series had been far from ironed out. To solve the problem, the screenwriters - including director Nikolaj Arcel and producer Akiva Goldsman - opted to make this a sequel to the last novel, for reasons which would constitute a spoiler to explain but had something to do with the power of retelling stories in different variations. Taking this to heart, they picked bits and pieces of what they liked about the most superficial elements, ignored the hefty themes of narrative, and strung them together like a greatest hits highlights package of the source.

This was about as satisfying as you would imagine, and those who were unconverted were baffled what the big deal was, while those who had spent years working their way through the novels wondered what happened to the idea of starting with the first book and making your way to the last. This Dark Tower was not an adaptation of that opener, it was closer to a selective reading of what would look cool on the big screen, but it made for a highly shallow experience which painted the Gunslinger character Roland, played by Idris Elba, as merely yet another superhero in a cinematic realm already overstuffed with them. When the grand finale served up Roland shooting about a million anonymous guys and never missing any of them, it was very hard to care about anything you were seeing, Roland less mythic than cypher.

Elba once again proved audiences were more keen to see him on television than the big screen, but McConaughey was a proper movie star, and you would expect him to fare better, yet this was not the case. He was given even less than his co-star to play with, a one-note all-powerful bad guy whose eventual defeat came out of nowhere, and made one of the great epics of fantasy and horror fiction very small beer indeed. Not helping was that Roland was not even the main character, Jake was, leaving the sense of watching a young adult movie on the level of one of those failed franchises that appeared in the wake of the success of Harry Potter instead of something that, if filmed faithfully, would have been strictly for the adults. This betrayed a lack of confidence in the material, treating The Dark Tower as if it was purely for the kids rather than those audiences with more sophisticated tastes, and King's intimate style on the page which drew you into his meticulously constructed world was left as impersonal would-be blockbuster blandness. With its failure at the box office and a television series set to ignore it altogether, this was a terrible waste of time and opportunity. Music by Junkie XL.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 618 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Paul Shrimpton
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
   

 

Last Updated: