'The Dark Tower' incites a quick-thrill, with an empty aftertaste

The Dark Tower Box Office

Arcel revealed that the movie will be a standalone story and an introduction to the franchise of "The Dark Tower", which is based on the novels written by Stephen King.

On a film with two studios and powerful producers, obviously there is much passionate creative debate on how to work certain ideas or beats. Gradually, we learn that Jake continues to have visions of The Man In Black and Roland Deschain/The Gunslinger (Idris Elba), while noticing that people around him seem to be odd creatures disguised as humans.

Adapting King's eight-book masterpiece was never going to be easy for any studio to do, but after being in development for over a decade, you would've thought that Columbia could at least get their first movie in the franchise right.

Back in October, almost four months before The Dark Tower was originally expected to be released, the studio made a decision to hold a small number of blind screenings for audiences before VFX work on the film had been completed. The Verge's Tasha Robinson describes the movie as simplifying the story in the books to the point that "in places it seems outright generic". But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

The film's story centers on 11-year-old James Chambers (Tom Taylor), who is plagued by visions of a Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey), a "Gunslinger" (Idris Elba), and a mythical Dark Tower.

He soon finds a portal to Mid-World, where Roland lives, and encounters him in a desert. "You're not thinking about the name, right?" he continued.

There he quickly runs into Roland, the stone-faced, duster-wearing gunslinger with a six-shooter in a land with minimal guns or bullets.

Synopsis: Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim, also known as the Man in Black.

Way back in May, I wrote about a Dark Tower trailer in an article called "The First Trailer for The Dark Tower Shows Us the Whole Movie, so I'm Nervous". Honestly, outside of some fish-out-of water comedy done by Elba when The Gunslinger transports to Earth briefly, there's nothing memorable about any performance. It's likely that much of Stephen King's magic on the page, engaging the reader's imagination as it does, evaporates in translation. With the review embargo lifted, The Dark Tower Rotten Tomatoes score now stands at 19 percent thanks to three positive reviews against 13 negative. He continues to accuse director Nikolaj Arcel of wasting the two leads in Elba and McConaughey, and concludes: "This unholy mess shouldn't happen to a king, let alone a paying customer".

He isn't done any huge favors by his visual effects team - one effect is surprisingly bad for a mainstream movie in 2017 - and the script by him and three others is largely unengaging.

The Dark Tower TV series is moving forward. And because this movie can't explain it any better than that, here is where the die-hard fan and the casual moviegoer must part ways. Or, in this case, a one hour and 35 minute movie.

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