Movie Review: It’s a Short, Boring, Dark Tower

The Dark Tower
Movie Review: It’s a Short, Boring, Dark Tower
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About the Author

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins

Tyler Collins is a thespian and performer who has worked with theatre, film, and TV across Ontario. He comes from Campbellton, NB, and has lived in North Oakville nearly 20 years. Currently, he studies Journalism at Sheridan College. Twitter: @MrTyCollins

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The month of August is known for uninspiring blockbusters, and The Dark Tower is no exception. It’s shallow from the beginning, and the fantasy action is far from engaging. The characters, stakes, and incomprehensible story are just…boring.

At 95 minutes (including titles and credits,) it’s a quick movie. But it’s too many fast events in a short amount of time. Making the corny script longer definitely isn’t the answer – I kept checking my watch the whole film.

The fantasy world of the story is poorly explained, leaving viewers disconnected and confused from what’s on screen. And that’s not just being Matthew McConaughey is playing a demon wizard/goth wannabe.

Based on the enormously long series of novels by Stephen King, The Dark Tower is based on elements from the first nine (yes, NINE) books. The story follows tortured teen Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) teaming up with a warrior called the Gunslinger (Idris Elba) from another dimension to stop a madman sorcerer (McConaughey) from destroying the world.

Elba’s performance as Roland the Gunslinger is charming and skillfully rugged. Every other actor is intensely forgettable and doing an adequate job being boring as possible on screen. This is especially true of Michael Barbieri, playing Jake’s best friend Timmy.

The Dark Tower

Photo: Sony Pictures.

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Every action sequence is painfully implausible. It’s near impossible to suspend your disbelief at how this fantasy world works, or how Jake is surviving these crazy monster attacks. Being well produced is no excuse for a ludicrous premise.

My viewing companions described how confusing and unfaithful the film was to King’s book series. I was annoyed by some of the lazy directorial choices, like a homeless man being a Jimmy Fallon lookalike. Or the apocalyptic world religiously using disposable plastic cutlery.

There are so many more exciting choices this summer if you’re looking for an exciting, expensive action or fantasy flick. Instead of The Dark Tower, see Dunkirk, Atomic Blonde, War for the Planet of the Apes, or even early July’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. They’re all still playing and far more entertaining.

Perhaps it would be best if Roland the Gunslinger used his sharp shooting to put a bullet in the cinema’s film projector. Then the audience would finally be put out of their misery.

The Dark Tower
2 out of 4 stars

14A, 95 minutes. Sci-Fi Western Fantasy.
Written and Directed by Nikolaj Arcel.
Starring Tom Taylor, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey.
Now Playing at Film.Ca Cinemas, Cineplex Winston Churchill and Cineplex Oakville & VIP.

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