The Dark Tower

(2017)

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Title:
The Dark Tower
Release Date:
3rd August 2017
Runtime:
95 min
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Genres:
Directors:
Nikolaj Arcel
Writers:
Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner
Languages:
English
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 17%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 59%
IMDb Rating 6.0

Casts

Ben Gavin as Soldier
Dennis Haysbert as Steven
Idris Elba as Roland
Tom Taylor as Jake

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Roland 6th August, 2017

Dumbing down the Tower

The Dark Tower by Stephen King is an epic story, spanning 7 books, telling Roland the Gunslinger's journey to the Tower; involving different genres, many characters, many worlds - a big lore. At a certain point whether you have read the series or not is probably irrelevant. If you haven't read the books, I would imagine the movie just will feel flat and lifeless, with only a few scenes from McConaughey standing out. There's very little plot and character development, which comes across as a lump of cliches. If you have read the books, you'll likely find the movie a spectacular failure, wondering how the writers managed to dumb down such promising material to a 95 minute generic action movie, and making an actor like Idris Elba overact in a character that should have endless potential. The final result is so hollow and narrow, if you have watched the trailer, you may just count yourself as having seen the whole thing. If you are intrigued by the story, skip this movie, and give the first book of the series a go.

Reviewed by gt22350 6th August, 2017

Critics Got This Wrong

My wife and I went to see this movie last night. This is probably the only review I've done in the past 30 years and that's because I believe this was "UNFAIRLY REVIEWED BY CRITICS", so I'm hoping you'll give this movie a shot after reading what I have to say. I almost didn't go because the movie review in USA Today newspaper only gave it one star. Some of the user reviews here didn't seem very enthusiastic about the movie either. I'm 67, retired, and a King fan (I've red The Dark Tower books). My wife is 70, retired and not a King fan (she hasn't read any of the Dark Tower books). Just to provide some additional perspective some of the movies we've seen so far this year and how we rated (in chronological order) The Founder 5, A Dog's Purpose 5, John Wick Chapter 2 5, Logan 6, Kong; Skull Island 7, Beauty and the Beast 7, Power Rangers 5, The Fate of the Furious 8, Guardians of the Galaxy 2nd Vol 8, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Wonder Woman 9, The Mummy 5, Spider Man 6, War for the Planet of the Apes 8, and The Dark Tower 8. I was worried standing in line to see the movie so when the previous show got out I started asking people (must have been close to 20) if the liked the show. (Would have asked more except my wife was feeling a little embarrassed.) Everyone said a hearty "Yes" except for one couple who shook their heads and said, "It wasn't like the books" and gave it a thumbs down. After that I was encouraged and looked forward to seeing the movie. I figured most of the critics were slamming it because it didn't follow the books closely. Frankly, from what I've seen, King books have always had a tough time being translated to the big screen. Although this movie didn't follow the books "right on" the main gist of the plot and characters were there so I wasn't disappointed. Contrary to what some other critical and user reviews have said, the plot was cohesive, well thought out, and had similarities to the book. The acting was very well done all around, the action was excellent and was not jittery or blurry. It's easy to connect to the characters and the emotional points of the plot. I started with a list of movies we've seen and how we rated so you can compare how similar, or not, your ratings were to put in perspective how likely you'd be to enjoy this movie. I wonder if critics and some users go to movies for reasons different from ours. We just want to see fun, entertaining, well acted movies that have been filmed and directed by good professionals. The ONLY ding we could give this movie was that it wasn't done in a manner similar to "Lord of the Rings" where it's carried out over 3 films with greater detail and depth. That might have been better, but maybe not. Regardless, I wish critics would at least rate movies like this with 2 stars as long as they're fun, well done and entertaining. There's no way this was a one-star film. Unless you really need the movie to follow all the outline and plot of the books, I'm extremely confident you'll enjoy this movie. It's well worth going to the show to see. You'll like it!

Reviewed by Kane Gao 5th August, 2017

Bad beyond your wildest imagination

Being a tower junkie for over a decade, I honestly don't have much expectation on this movie adaption. Much of The Dark Tower series' charm comes from Stephen King's narration, which doesn't easily convert into the visual language of movies. Since the bar was set extremely low, I thought there's no way I could be disappointed in the cinema. But dude, this Nikolaj Arcel guy has one heck of a way to prove me wrong. Judging by what's revealed in trailers, I thought this one should cover The Gungslinger and *part of* Drawing of the Three, starting a whole franchise, with more installments to follow. But no. The director took pieces from all seven Tower books, glued them onto a self-made storyline (a lame one), and called it a day. Yes, you're reading it right. This is the whole thing, the entire package. What kind of idiotic mind ever thinks of packing SEVEN novels into ONE SINGLE movie? Within 1.5 hours you will see Roland Deschain fighting the army of the Man in Black (vol IV), having his ass handed to him, embarking on a chase (vol I), picking up Jake Chambers from New York (vol I & II), although the Jake in this movie is really Jake Chambers and Patrick Danville rolled into one (vol VII). They fooled around in Mid-world for a bit, then discovered Algul Siento (vol VI), where the Man in Black's force are hording up breakers to destroy the Dark Tower. In order the thwart the evil operation, they went to this village that looks suspiciously like Calla Bryan Sturgis (vol V), activated a portal to Keystone Earth, trying to infiltrate en route the can-toi headquarter, a restaurant called Dixie Pig (vol VII). Then there comes a ton of pew pew pew and bang bang bang. All baddies died, including the Man in Black (vol WTF). They destroyed the tower-breaking machine, and lived happily ever after (vol WTF). End of story. No Oy. No Eddie Dean. No Susannah Holmes. Even the Crimson King is axed, while references to him can be seen everywhere in the movie. This version of Roland didn't even attempt to enter the Tower. I've thought hard, for nice things to say about this movie, and came up with only the following: 1. All sorts of creative reloading techniques. 2. Walter O'Dim is super duper kickass cool in the movie adaption, way cooler than in the original novels. Matthew McConaughey did portray the "Walking Dude" true to his name, always on the move, casually passing through lives and worlds, leaving havoc in his wake. Otherwise... it's a dozen bucks wasted. Should have donated it to the charity. BTW, IMDb should change its rating mechanism a bit, allowing us to give a 0 rate. Oh, there's one nice touch at the very beginning of the movie. Among the names and logos of producers and investors, there's a screen featuring "Tet Corporation", accompanied by a turtle and a rose, kindling false hope in me.

Reviewed by garethvk 3rd August, 2017

Not As Bad As You Hear But More

Adapting Stephen King stories for the screen has long been a difficult problem for Hollywood. For every "Misery" and "The Shawshank Redemption", there are many others such as "The Mangler", "Cell", "and Graveyard Shift" and many more where things did not go as planned. The big issue is that King often creates detailed characters with complex backstories and puts then in fully developed worlds that despite their supernatural nature, often are easy for readers to relate to. Also as any reader of his books knows, King is not one to spare the paper and his books can be very lengthy offerings. This is an issue for Hollywood as they are forced to condense a 400-800 page plus story in many cases to fewer than two hours of screen time. The solution has been to try television movies such as "The Langoliers", "The Tommyknockers", "The Stand", and "It". The problem with this format is that while spreading the story over multiple nights allows more time for the story, they gore and adult content which is often the core of the story has to be greatly watered down. Which brings us to "The Dark Tower", an adaptation of King's largest offering as the series covers seven books and a novella, not to mention a Prequel comic and more. The series rolled out from 1982-2004 with King often saying that he might never finish the series. Fortunately for fans he released three books from 2003-2004 and was able to declare the story told. The story tells of a world like ours, but different that has "moved on". It is a dying world where Roland (Idris Elba), is pursuing a wizard named Walter (Matthew McConaughey), who is responsible for laying waste the world and killing all that come into Roland's life. The books follow his unrelenting chase of The Man in Black over countless years and how he has become a cold and driven individual who thinks nothing of using people to get his revenge. Roland is the last of the "Gunslingers", a Knight like group who protected the world and who used guns that were rare in their world to keep the peace. Roland is highly skilled and unlike his now dead companions, is impervious to the magic of Walter which has allowed him to remain alive and continue his quest. The Man in Black is fixated on destroying the Dark Tower, which protects the many worlds in the universe from the outside evils that look to destroy it. Along with a young boy from Earth named Jake (Tom Taylor), Roland must find a way to save the universe and exact his revenge. The film keeps the conflict between Roland and The Man in Black but greatly condenses the story as it includes references to things in the first two books but omits much of the backstory and plot of the novels to tell what I would call a story that was inspired by, but not based on the books. This is at the core the biggest issue with the film. I have read the books and while I wanted an adaptation that was closer to them, I did find myself enjoying the film more than I expected to. The leads were very good and even though they had a very watered down script to work with, they did a good job and the finale does have some nice visuals and action to it. People I know who have read the books have naturally been very disappointed with the film but those who have not read the books have mentioned that they enjoyed the film and accepted it as a fun bit of escapist adventure. There has been talk of a television series that would focus more on the third book onward which hopefully would include how Roland gained new followers from our world who were trained to be future Gunslingers. That remains to be seen as the success of the film will likely hold the key. I hope we do get to see it as there are countless stories and characters yet to tell in this universe and I think fans deserve to see them as King wrote them. 3 stars out of 5

Reviewed by ztigr 3rd August, 2017

C'mon Really??

You have Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey 8 books of material, and you put together a 95 minute movie? I absolutely hate that critics have to hold their reviews on these movies so the public cannot be forewarned. Its like restaurant critics not being able to tell you the food is dog meat until after you place your order. Then there are those fans who loved the books, so they delude themselves into thinking the movie is good enough. Frankly the history of Stephen King material and film is a mixed bag. The Shining is obviously superior, but when's the last time you dug out Dreamcatcher? It just continues to shock me how inept some of these productions are.